Can GoldenGate Software Continue to Grow Transactional Replication?

GoldenGate Software may not be a well-known name, except in circles where transactional replication is a hot topic, but after 15 years in business, they have assembled a sizable base of some 500 customers, with 4000 solutions deployed, and partnerships with vendors as diverse as Teradata and Ingres on the database side, and Microstrategy and Amdocs in the app and BI space. Their message revolves around 3 key attributes of their changed-data-based replication technology: heterogeneity, real-time (log-based) performance, and high-volume transactional support (committed only.) And despite their notoriously closed-mouthed approach to their finances, it’s fair to say that they are generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue yearly (Hoover’s says $9.7M in 2007, but I believe that’s very low), so it’s evident the marketplace is interested. The big question is whether GoldenGate will invest to sustain and grow sales, or watch larger competitors competitors take their market away, now that they’re on the radar.

At its founding, GoldenGate focused on developing replication technology for high availability (HA), originally pointed at creating live standby copies for Tandem. (Today, the Tandem technology lives on in HP’s NeoView database.) Financial customers like US Bank, Bank of America, Chicago Mercantile, and Visa came aboard, and are still clients. GoldenGate went to application vendors on the Nonstop platform, like ATM processing software vendors, and partnered with them to sell the product. [6/13: Post has been edited – I had an inaccurate understanding of the sales model, and have changed a few sentences. – MA]

HA is still a key piece of the business; beginning with multi-node high availability for Teradata 4 years ago, GoldenGate has continued to enhance that offering until today it’s being used by a number of customers for active/active configuration. A large network equipment manufacturer just purchased GoldenGate for that purpose, and although Teradata drove the deal, GoldenGate was brought in to participate actively and expects its relationship with Teradata will continue to drive future opportunities.

Another market opportunity is the exploding data warehouse load/real-time reporting space, and GoldenGate has been courting vendors like Teradata, Netezza and Greenplum to become their recommended choice with some success. And after focusing on financial customers for many years, GoldenGate has seen healthcare as a next opportunity. Companies there also want to offload critical data for reporting, and as they begin to demand software to target SQL Server or Oracle environments, companies like Cerner and GE Healthcare are selling partners in that space today. Telco is also promising. Is the fit right? Will prospects go with replication, or choose ETL? Use cases will dictate, and there’s room for both.

For now, GoldenGate has a well-understood competitive field to operate in. They claim some success positioning against IBM so far. Despite IBM’s acquisition of DataMirror in July 2007 for changed-data capture, the multiple IBM replication offerings are badly in need of more rationalized, coherent messaging. There are numerous IBM products – for zOS, Infosphere, WebSphere, IMS, DB2 Propagator – in or out of Information Server.

Goldengate claims that Sybase tends not to be in the same deals they are in, and that’s unsurprising considering the minimal attention Sybase has paid to heterogeneous opportunities. GoldenGate has also had some success in Oracle shops, especially around Siebel migrations, and claim a good relationship with the database team there.

IT Market Strategy believes that GoldenGate has plenty of upside – if they choose to go after it.  A significant uptick in marketing visibility and perhaps a larger sales force investment would likely pay dividends. Their competition will not continue to leave this market unexploited for much longer, and should GoldenGate’s competitors focus their sizable direct sales teams, they could create substantial competitive pressure. Not being a well-known name works at a smaller scale, but once you’re no longer under the radar, it’s time to rethink.

Published by Merv Adrian

Independent information technology market analyst and consultant, 40 years of industry experience, covering software in and around the data management space.

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