Baron Schwartz explains the major challenges facing open source databases, focusing on the changing place of open source databases in the modern world. These include NoSQL, solid-state storage, and cloud computing. Solid-state storage, which is superior to random reads, are built with spinning discs in mind and show great potential in stably handling massive increases in data volume, while cloud computing can decrease capital costs and will have lasting volume behind its current hype.
Intermixing reports of progress and challenges, Baron Schwartz highlights many areas of progress within open source databases, but also notes that the progress is slow due to needless reinvention and scattered development without communication and organization in and between development companies.
Other issues facing open source are in open source culture, such as too much competition, disagreements, and focus on hierarchy. To solve these problems, Baron Schwartz explains that forums and other avenues of communication are necessary, and that developers must focus on innovation and optimism more than failures and individual one-upmanship.