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.

Strata Standards Stories: Different Stores For Different Chores

Has HDFS joined MapReduce in the emerging “legacy Hadoop project” category, continuing the swap-out of components that formerly answered the question “what is Hadoop?” Stores for data were certainly a focus at Strata/Hadoop World in NY, O’Reilly’s well-run, well-attended, and always impactful fall event. The limitations of HDFS, including its append-only nature, have become inconvenient enough to push the community to “invent” something DBMS vendors like Oracle did decades ago: a bypass. After some pre-event leaks about its arrival, Cloudera chose its Strata keynote to announce Kudu, a new columnstore written in C++, bypassing HDFS entirely. Kudu will use an Apache license and will be submitted to the Apache process at some undetermined future time.

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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–

 

 

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

Oracle Hardware – No, The News is Not Good. (Yet.)

As an information management software analyst, I don’t spend a great deal of time looking at hardware, but when I look for a more holistic view, I occasionally check in with Gartner colleagues. Recently I had a few questions about Oracle’s hardware mix during inquiries, so I decided to check in with my colleague Errol Rasit about Gartner Quarterly Market Statistics, and find out how the hardware recovery I keep hearing about was going.  What I discovered surprised me, especially in light of the messages I hear from the vendor.

There is no “recovery.” It appears that the picture remains rather bleak, especially on the SPARC side.

— more on my Gartner blog —

Prediction Is Hard – Especially About the Future

OK, I admit it – I stole the title from a much smarter man. I thought that man was Yogi Berra, but maybe not – more about that at the end of this post.

Every year, Gartner issues a series of Predicts documents. This year I had the pleasure of doing one for my team on Information Infrastructure Technology. Now, I’m a software guy, and the team I’m on is all software people, so a document assigned to our team would typically be about – well, information software technology. But that would have missed the point rather dramatically, so I connected with a few colleagues and got their OK to use some of their predictions in the small set any document can include.

— more on 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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BYOH – Hadoop’s a Platform. Get Used To It.

When is a technology offering a platform? Arguably, when people build products assuming it will be there. Or extend their existing products to support it, or add versions designed to run on it. Hadoop is there. The age of Bring Your Own Hadoop (BYOH) is clearly upon us.  Specific support for components such as Pig and Hive vary, as do capabilities and levels of partnership in development, integration and co-marketing. Some vendors are in many categories – for example, Pentaho and IBM at opposite ends of the size spectrum interact with Hadoop in development tools, data integration, BI, and other ways. A few category examples, by no means exhaustive:

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