The Era of Microsoft on Windows-Only Is Over – OMG

Written by Donald Feinberg and Merv Adrian

On 25-Sep-2017 at Ignite, Microsoft announced general availability of SQL Server 2017, now supporting both Windows and Linux platforms, as well as support for containers. It can now book revenue for a product already widely used by early release customers.

What does this imply for the $34.4 billion database management system (DBMS) Market? Over the years, Microsoft has grown SQL Server revenue substantially, capturing over 20 percent of the DBMS market without a Linux offering. Few thought we would see the day where a major Microsoft software product would run on anything other than Windows.

Microsoft SQL Server started life as Sybase SQL Server. In 1988, Microsoft acquired joint rights on x86 and called it SQL Server. In 1993, the partnership was dissolved and Microsoft retained SQL Server and developed it independently of Sybase, running on x86 and Windows OS. SAP ASE, formerly Sybase ASE, (Sybase was acquired by SAP in 2010) shares the procedural language Transact-SQL (T-SQL) with SQL Server.

Linux support has been a long time in coming. Both of us were in (separate) meetings at Microsoft 10 or 12 years ago, where we suggested that SQL Server be ported to Linux. The notion was met by the senior management of the then Server & Tools Group (STG) with strong disagreement (and several “expletives deleted.”). Our premise then – and still – was that this would position SQL Server as a portable DBMS, boosting sales, offering more addressable market to compete in. Customers would know they could move to Linux if desired, removing the notion of lock-in to the Windows Server OS.

Today, SQL Server runs on Windows and Linux – and containers (Docker and Kubernetes), putting it on an equal footing with other DBMS products. It supports Availability Groups that span both OSs, enhancing cross-OS testing and migration projects. Microsoft claims over 2 million Docker pulls of SQL Server 2017 for Linux since November 2016. With the generally lower pricing of SQL Server, including availability on-premises with a subscription instead of a license + maintenance, as well as pricing and discount programs including a joint marketing program with Red Hat (see Microsoft’s press release), we expect increased competition with other relational DBMS players, like IBM Db2Oracle and SAP ASE.

The momentum is clear. Gartner Software Market numbers show that Microsoft passed IBM in total DBMS revenues in 2014 and is now second only to Oracle. In 2016 overall DBMS revenues grew at 7.7 percent and Microsoft grew at 10.3 percent, strengthening its #2 position, while Oracle grew 3.3 percent – off a much larger base that includes the Linux workloads Microsoft did not compete for. With a competitively priced product that is now portable across more than one operating system, Microsoft SQL Server is positioned to gain even more market share. To further support this, SQL Server on-premises is now fully compatible to Azure SQL Database, allowing customers full flexibility in choosing the desired platform, using on-premises SQL Server licenses for Azure deployments. Its on-premises subscription pricing positions it competitively with open-source RDBMS products, with no upfront license fees. In the year ahead, competition will be more heated than is has been for years.

IBM Ends Hadoop Distribution, Hortonworks Expands Hybrid Open Source

IBM has followed Intel and EMC/Pivotal in abandoning efforts to make a business of Hadoop distributions, and followed Microsoft in making Hortonworks its supplying partner. At the former Hadoop Summit, now called Dataworks (itself a sign of the shift from Hadoop-centric positioning), IBM announced it will discontinue its IBM Open Platform/BigInsights offering, and will instead OEM Hortonworks’ HDP.

more

Hadoop Commercial Support Component Tracker – March 2017

Stack expansion has ground to a halt. The last time an Apache project was added to the list of those most supported by leading Hadoop distribution vendors was July 2016, when Kafka joined the other 14 then commonly included. Since then, no broad support for new projects has emerged. The only project that does seem successful is the new e-scooter. With its new style and long lasting battery, it can´t fail.

–more–

Microsoft Enters 2017 With 45 Offerings in Magic Quadrants

In Q1 2017, as always, we reset this chart – no bold or italic for new entries. As of January 20, no new MQs had yet been published in 2017 featuring Microsoft, so the picture below lays out a new picture for the year ahead. An addition or two late last  year raise the total to 45 included products.

more

More Microsoft Offerings in Magic Quadrant Listing

In Q3 2016, three additional Microsoft offerings were covered in Magic Quadrant reports: Disaster Recovery as a Service, Application Delivery Controllers and Application Release Automation.

–more–

Microsoft Magic Quadrant Sees Two Promotions, One Addition

As of July 13, Microsoft is featured in 41 current Gartner Magic Quadrants. 16 have been updated this year; they are shown in bold in the figure. One has been added: Disaster Recovery as a Service enters in the Visionary quadrant. Two improved their positions: Mobile Application Development Platforms moved from Challenger to Leader, and Identity and Access Management as a Service from Visionary to Leader.

–more–

Microsoft’s Magic Quadrant Positioning Was Unchanged in Q1

As of April 29, Microsoft is featured in 40 current Gartner Magic Quadrants. 8 have been updated this year; they are shown in bold in the figure. In quarterly updates throughout the year, this series of posts will track changed positions, updated MQs and new MQs as they appear. Gartner clients can read about these offerings in depth in the reports and in the associated Critical Capabilities documents.

more

Hadoop Apache Project Commercial Support Tracker April 2016

There are now 19 commonly supported projects: Avro, Flume and Solr join the group supported by all 5 distributors and other changes appear as well.

For this version of the tracker (last updated in December), I’ve made one sizable change: Pivotal has been dropped as a “leading distributor,” dropping the number to five. Pivotal relies on Hortonworks’ distro (as does Microsoft) as its commercial offering now.

more

Microsoft in 40 Gartner Magic Quadrants, January 2016

As of January 29, Microsoft is featured in 40 Gartner Magic Quadrants published or updated within the past 12 months. In quarterly updates throughout the year, this series of posts will track changed positions, updated MQs and new MQs as they appear. Gartner clients can read about these offerings in depth in the reports and in the associated Critical Capabilities documents.

Follow the link to see the chart.

–more–

Microsoft MQ Updates – Results are Mixed

Each quarter, I update my quarterly map of the several dozen Gartner Magic Quadrants that feature Microsoft offerings. Previous posts include December 2014’s Microsoft’s Product Positions – Positive Progress, March’s Microsoft in MQs – March On,  and July’s Microsoft in MQs – June is Bustin’ Out.  This post follows the end of a fiscal year with quarterly revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 and management shifts that are reshaping the company for its new fiscal year.

–more–