The database market landscape no longer consists of a handful of traditional database vendor offerings. The database market arena has exploded with dozens of new database offerings and architectures from organizations that range the spectrum. Competition from super-sized, nontraditional database vendors, open source offerings and startups are feeding the rapid escalation of advancements in database technologies.
This is where my “age and experience” provides value to our analysis of 2017’s Top Trends. I’ve been working in the IT profession for over 30 years now. In virtually all facets related to database administration - you name it, I’ve done it. I’ve bought, sold, learned and taught database management systems. From JR DBA to a member of a Fortune 100 company’s Database Think Tank, I’ve performed a fairly varied set of tasks for my employers. This isn’t intended to showcase my curriculum vitae; I’m just letting you know “I’ve been around.”
Although the focus of this series will be on database technology trends, it will also provide additional analysis on the state of the database market in 2017. In order for us to perform a thorough evaluation of the top trends, we must also examine the competitive market arena that is driving these technical innovations.
The trends that we will be discussing include:
- Hybrid Clouds - Microsoft and Oracle Lead the Way
- Market Impact - SQL Server on Linux
- The Evolution of Multi-Model Databases and NoSQL Vendor Consolidation
- The Rising Interest in Open Source Database Offerings
Each trend analysis is a separate article, allowing readers to quickly navigate to the topic that they are most interested in.
At the end of each discussion, readers will find a “takeaway” that provides RDX’s recommendations.
Microsoft and Oracle Hybrid DBMS Clouds
For this discussion, hybrid clouds are the DBMS vendors’ attempts to overcome the lack of consistency between public cloud and on-premises DBMS systems. The majority of database vendors' on-premises database offerings differ from their public cloud counterparts. In addition, public cloud implementations of the same database product may differ from each other. Oracle, Amazon, MariaDB and Google all offer cloud versions of MySQL and, although very much alike in many areas, they also have key differences.
The environments often differ in database features and functionality, data access mechanisms, administrative processes and interfaces, maintenance utilities, monitoring, security controls, backup/recovery, disaster recovery and tuning and performance.
A utopian hybrid DBMS cloud would be an environment that has a combination of public and private cloud DBMS architectures that are totally transparent and seamless to administrators and developers. For developers, it would be an environment that allows 100% code compatibility between private and public clouds. For DBAs, it would be an environment that is monitored and administered exactly the same way, regardless of whether that system is running on a server in the shop’s data center or in the public cloud.
In 2017, this utopian vision will come much closer to reality. The two heavyweight contenders, Oracle and Microsoft, both understand how important it is for customers, especially those that have a large number of on-premises systems to be able to make a seamless transition to cloud architectures. Both vendors’ strategies are hybrid clouds, which has the goal of providing 100% seamless administration for DBAs and 100% code transportability for developers.
There is no doubt that both vendors understand the importance of seamless public and private implementations to their customer base and are expending significant resources to achieve that goal. Both Microsoft and Oracle have stated that hybrid clouds are critical ingredients of their core DBMS strategies. In addition, we know that both vendors have sufficient capital to acquire companies and expend the R&D resources to achieve true hybrid architectures that are totally seamless and transparent to the end user.
RDX Takeaway - Microsoft and Oracle Hybrid DBMS Clouds
The winner of the cloud vs on-premises database war will not be on-premises or the cloud. It will be a hybrid solution, which provides organizations with the option of seamlessly choosing between cloud an on-premises implementations.
IT organizations’ budget constraints, substantial investments in on site infrastructure , nagging security concerns and the challenge of sharing data between cloud and on-premises database applications will continue to drive private cloud DBMS implementations. As a result, privately controlled, on-premises systems and public cloud environments will coexist for some time.
Hybrid clouds will provide organizations with the option of easily deploying database systems to the architecture that best fits the application’s unique processing requirements. As a result, once the database vendors achieve true hybrid architectures that are totally seamless and transparent to the database consumer, they will quickly eclipse their cloud and on-premises pure-play system counterparts.
Amazon has the most complete cloud solution but has no on-premises alternative. Its competitive strengths will be the breadth of database products it offers, price points and increasing robustness of its cloud architectures. The challenge for Amazon is that it has a limited ability to provide on-premises or hybrid DBMS cloud services to customers. As a result, it will be relegated to a cloud-only DBMS services provider. Until consumers begin to more widely adopt cloud DBMS systems as their architecture of choice, it will not be able to challenge Oracle or Microsoft’s database leadership positions.