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.

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.

 

–more in Gartner blog–

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

–more on 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

DBMS Legacies are Very Sticky

Donald Feinberg (@Brazingo) & Merv Adrian (@merv)

Every so often, there’s a wave of interest in the “imminent retirement” of one or more legacy database management systems (DBMS). Usually, it’s because someone with very little knowledge of the actual use and distribution of the products becomes enthusiastic about someone’s sales pitch, or an anecdote or two. Sometimes it’s the result of a “replacement” marketing campaign by a competitor. And so far, it’s usually as illusive- and as far off – as the “death of the mainframe”.

Recently, a financial analyst report stated that in 2015, the industry would begin retiring Sybase products (owned now by SAP) and Informix (owned now by IBM). We and our colleagues have since had several inquiries about this and our response is simple: poppycock. DBMS market data, and our thousands of interactions with customers, do not support any of this.

—more on my Gartner blog–

Hadoop Investments Continue: Teradata, HP Jockey For Position

Interest from the leading players continues to drive investment in the Hadoop marketplace. This week Teradata made two acquisitions – Revelytix and Hadapt – that enrich its already sophisticated big data portfolio, while HP made a $50M investment in, and joined the board of, Hortonworks. These moves continue the ongoing effort by leading players. 4 of the top 5 DBMS players (Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, SAP and Teradata) and 3 of the top 7 IT companies (Samsung, Apple, Foxconn, HP, IBM, Hitachi, Microsoft) have now made direct moves into the Hadoop space. Oracle’s recent Big Data Appliance and Big Data SQL, and Microsoft’s HDInsight represent substantial moves to target Hadoop opportunities, and these Teradata and HP moves mean they don’t want to be left behind.

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AAA is Not Enough Security in the Big Data Era

Talk to security folks, especially network ones, and AAA will likely come up. It stands for authentication, authorization and accounting (sometimes audit). There are even protocols such as Radius (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service, much evolved from its first uses) and Diameter, its significantly expanded (and punnily named) newer cousin, implemented in commercial and open source versions, included in hardware for networks and storage. AAA is and will remain a key foundation of security in the big data era, but as a longtime information management person, I believe it’s time to acknowledge that it’s not enough, and we need a new A – anonymization.

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Diary of an Asian Swing: Day 3

This was a day of transition. No meetings in Hong Kong, so after a leisurely breakfast and a look at the news, I settled down for a rare session of uninterrupted writing. It was still Sunday back home, so the email was relatively caught up and I could focus. Finished first drafts of some Gartner Magic Quadrant DW DBMS content and sent them off to colleagues for review and assembly into our eventual document.

This MQ is my second, and I’m really enjoying the process this time now that I’m not trying to figure out what happens next. I’m especially pleased with the process of combining interview data from customer interviews and analysis of our inquiry traffic – hundreds for each of the four authors – with surveys we conducted specifically for the report.

Mark Beyer built a fantastic link for feeding survey criteria measured by numeric scores from customers directly into relevant cells on our underlying spreadsheet. We had already done some collective scoring of our own in those cells, and the new exercise showed us how customers read the same issues. And it moved some of the scores significantly, with some vendors doing better than we expected in some areas, and others getting hammered. When a sizable number of survey respondents highlight an issue like support as a serious weakness, one has to take notice.

Several hours of uninterrupted time, a luxury that made the work move quickly, gave way to a decision about what to do with a free afternoon. I decided to use it for more work, so instead of an excursion I headed to the airport hours ahead of schedule to work in the attractive Cathay Pacific lounge. But I was surprised by a helpful check-in agent who told me there was an earlier flight I could get onto. As a result, I arrived in spectacular Singapore late in the evening instead of well into the night, and was in my hotel for a good night’s rest before early morning meetings the next day.

And of course, working on the place – even without wi-fi – was just as good as working in the lounge. So I had the chance to complete a new draft of a forthcoming Hadoop Pilot Best Practices piece and send it off to a collaborator. A good day indeed.

Mark Beyer, Father of the Logical Data Warehouse, Guest Post

Another guest post, this time from my colleague and friend Mark Beyer.

My name is Mark Beyer, and I am the “father of the logical data warehouse”. So, what does that mean? First,  if like any father, you are not willing to address your ancestry with full candor you will lose your place in the universe and wither away without making a meaningful contribution. As an implementer in the field, I was a student and practitioner of both Inmon and Kimball. I learned as much or more from my clients and my colleagues during multiple implementations as I did from studying any methodology. My Gartner colleagues challenged my concepts and helped hammer them into a comprehensive and complete concept. Simply put, I was willing to consider DNA contributions from anyone and anywhere, but through a form of unnatural selection, persisted in choosing to include the good genes and actively removing the undesirable elements.

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