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.

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.

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Symposium Notes – Day Two Jumps in the (Data) Lake

My second day of Symposium 1:1 meetings continued the “security of big data” theme (4 of the day’s 15 conversations – usually, but not always, about HDFS-based data), with a data lake flavor. The concerns were retroactive – often driven by an internal audit. “We built it, now how do we secure it?” is a common question. And “it’s almost all structured data so far,” confirming what Gartner found in the 2016 big data survey. Vendor conversations (4 of the day’s 1:1s) also included a look at security – “how much is this going to matter to my customers? Who can I partner with?” has been a typical thread, and I met with a security consultancy whose practice seems to be ramping rapidly.

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Microsoft in MQs – June Is Bustin’ Out

Following December 2014’s Microsoft’s Product Positions – Positive Progress, and March’s Microsoft in MQs – March On,  this post updates my quarterly map of the several dozen Gartner Magic Quadrants that feature Microsoft offerings. As Microsoft nears the end of its fiscal year (and undergoes management shifts I’ll discuss in a future post) their MQ progress continues through Q2.

–More in Gartner blog–

Perspectives on Hadoop Part Two: Pausing Plans

By Merv Adrian and Nick Heudecker 

In the first post in this series , I looked at the size of revenue streams for RDBMS software and maintenance/support and noted that they amount to $33B, pointing out that pure play Hadoop vendors had a high hill to climb. (I didn’t say so specifically, but in 2014, Gartner estimates that the three leading vendors generated less than $150M.)

In this post, Nick and I turn from Procurement to Plans and examine the buying intentions uncovered in Gartner surveys.

 

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Perspectives on Hadoop: Procurement, Plans, and Positioning

I have the privilege of working for the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, covering information management with a strong focus for the past few years on an emerging software stack called Hadoop. In the early part of 2015, that particular technology is moving from early adopter status to early majority in its marketplace adoption. The discussions and published work around it have been exciting and controversial, so in this post (and a couple to follow) I describe three interlocking research perspectives on Hadoop: procurement (counting real money actually spent); plans (surveys of intentions to invest) and positioning (subjective interpretations of what the first two mean.)

Procurement Perspective: Hadoop is a (Very) Small Market Today

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Hadoop Questions from Recent Webinar Span Spectrum

This is a joint post authored with Nick Heudecker
There were many questions asked after the last quarterly Hadoop webinar, and Nick and I have picked a few that were asked several times to respond to here.

–More on my Gartner blog

Which SQL on Hadoop? Poll Still Says “Whatever” But DBMS Providers Gain

Since Nick Heudecker and I began our quarterly Hadoop webinars, we have asked our audiences what they expected to do about SQL several times, first in January 2014. With 164 respondents in that survey, 32% said “we’ll use what our existing BI tool provider gives us,” reflecting the fact that most adopters seem not to want to concern themselves overmuch with the details.

–More on my Gartner blog

Who Asked for an Open Data Platform?

This is a joint blog post between Nick Heudecker and Merv Adrian.

It’s Strata week here in San Jose, and with that comes a flood of new announcements on products, partners and funding. Today’s big announcement came in the form of the Open Data Platform (ODP). A number of companies have signed on, but in short, it’s got some Hadoopers, some service providers and systems integrators, as well as some analytics apps vendors.

–more on my Gartner blog

Hadoop Is A Recursive Acronym

Hopefully, that title got your attention. A recursive acronym – the term first appeared in the book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and is likely more familiar to tech folks who know Gnu – is self-referential (as in “Gnu’s not Unix.”) So how did I conclude Hadoop, whose name origin we know, fits the definition? Easy – like everyone else, I’m redefining Hadoop to suit my own purposes. 

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