Tired of Just “Getting By” with Oracle, FNI Moves to MariaDB

The Challenge

Financial Network, Inc. (FNI), has been offering credit strategy and loan-origination services for more than 30 years. When the company began making plans for a new SaaS offering that would mean expanding its Oracle footprint, a major roadblock emerged: the “astronomical” cost of additional Oracle licenses would prevent FNI from competing in its market. Seeking a DBMS that would help rather than hinder its growth, FNI chose MariaDB.

Enterprise Open Source DBMS Fosters Business Growth

“With Oracle, we were getting by,” says William Wood, director of database architecture at FNI. “We were doing business, we were making money, but we didn’t have money to put back into the business – to make the business thrive, to expand our marketing, to go after new customers, as well as to be competitive with other companies that fill the same little niche that FNI does. MariaDB has allowed us to do that.”

Three main requirements drove FNI’s search for alternatives to Oracle:

Scalability

FNI needed an enterprise-grade DBMS that makes sense for companies looking to expand. Wood explains, “If we continued investing in Oracle, we would eventually probably go out of business. Oracle licensing costs $47,500 per processor. That’s not very scalable from an economical standpoint. We can run MariaDB on any type of hardware we want.”

Security

In the financial services industry, robust data security – particularly encryption of data at rest – is a must. Wood recalls, “We looked at Postgres, Informix, DB2, Sybase, all of those. Then when MariaDB came out with encryption of data at rest, that was the clincher for us. We were using a similar feature with Oracle, but we had to purchase the advanced security option, which was another nice chunk of change. With MariaDB, it was just provided – no additional cost.”

High availability

FNI needs to be able to handle high volume and high load 24x7x365, with five nines of availability. The team achieves that with MariaDB Galera clusters for testing and production, all sitting behind the MaxScale database proxy, which provides failover, connection routing, and replication nodes. “Replication is a wonderful thing with MariaDB,” Wood says.

Training and Support Shorten Time to Market

Just a few weeks after FNI took its first MariaDB server live in production, a new version of MariaDB software debuted, bringing Oracle-compatibility features that make migration far simpler. Even without that leg up, though, the project made sense for FNI. “We’ve actually had a fairly smooth transition,” Wood says.

One of the best decisions FNI made, according to Wood, was to invest in training: “MariaDB’s developer and DBA training greatly shortened our migration time.” And the customer support ever since has continued to impress.

A Roadmap for Further Expansion

In its first two months of using MariaDB in production, approximately 1 million revenue-generating transactions were executed on MariaDB servers – accounting for ~40% of all billable transactions. The company is aiming for 90-100% after 12 months, and foresees expanding FNI’s MariaDB footprint over the next two years.

“MariaDB came to the rescue for us,” Wood says. “We’re going full steam ahead.”

Download the FNI Case Study

Learn about FNI’s 2020 switch from Oracle to MariaDB’s SkySQL

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Customer testimonial

I can log an issue with MariaDB… I get a response, usually within an hour or two on a simple…

William Wood, Director of Database Architecture, FNI

Open source is a smarter approach for future-proofing our business.

William Wood, DBA expert and author of “Migrating to MariaDB”

I don’t like to be cubby-holed under one specific solution, especially one like Oracle. It’s very proprietary.

William Wood, Director of Database Architecture, FNI

We were doing business, we were making money, but we didn’t have money to… make the business thrive…. MariaDB has…

William Wood, Director of Database Architecture, FNI

Additional Resources

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Oracle to MariaDB: Pragmatic Migration Strategies
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Oracle to MariaDB: Pragmatic Migration Strategies
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webinar
Migration Best Practices (and Major Savings): Oracle to MariaDB
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Migration Best Practices (and Major Savings): Oracle to MariaDB
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Press Release
Press Release
Financial Network, Inc. Moves to the Cloud with MariaDB SkySQL, Leaves Oracle Behind
Press Release
Financial Network, Inc. Moves to the Cloud with MariaDB SkySQL, Leaves Oracle Behind
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