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January 30, 2014

Microsoft being edged out of database ecosystem by newer companies

Community-developed technologies proving popular alternative.

By Claire Vanner

Microsoft’s SQL server and HD Insights services are being overlooked by customers with emerging alternatives being favoured instead, the Progress Datadirect 2014 Data Connectivity Outlook survey has found.

Open source and community-developed alternatives, such as MariaDB and Apache, have been muscling in on big players like Microsoft and Oracle, demonstrating that big brands no longer hold a monopoly on the market.

With the proliferation of Big Data and a myriad of new database options, selecting the one best suited for specific business requirements is becoming more challenging.

The study – which surveyed 300 IT and business leaders, analysts, developers and knowledge workers – shows that while established vendors still hold significant share, a new set of rising stars – many of them lower-cost alternatives – are emerging in the data source world.

The Rising Stars in Relational Database Technologies
Not surprisingly, the mature relational database management systems (RDBMS) from Microsoft (SQL Server) and Oracle are the most widely adopted according to the report. However, the survey projects significant growth for emerging alternatives such as the community-developed MariaDB as well as the SAP HANA in-memory platform, over the next two years.

Rising Stars in Enterprise Data Warehousing
While respondents say Microsoft (SQL Server), Oracle and IBM (DB2) enterprise data warehousing technologies are the most widely deployed, the survey finds the largest future growth in this Big Data segment will come from vendors such as Teradata, Amazon Redshift, Exadata and EMC Greenplum. Amazon Redshift, a fast and powerful high-scale data warehouse service in the cloud, is projected to double in use over the next two years according to the poll.

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Rising Stars in Big Data and Hadoop-Based Systems
When it comes to adoption of high-volume distributed file systems, the study found that open-source Apache, with its low cost of entry, is the clear leader being used by more than 45% of respondents. Vendors such as Microsoft (HD Insights) and Cloudera are the next closest competitors to Apache, each being used by more than 20% of the respondents.

Rising Stars in NoSQL, NewSQL and Non-Relational Databases
The brightest star in the constellation of cloud-based data and databases for purpose-built workloads is clearly MongoDB, which is used by 39% of survey participants. A solid second is SQLFire – an in-memory SQL database from VMWare – used by 20% of respondents. Several other databases, such as Cassandra and HBase also were reported to have a definitive presence.

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