The worldwide market for relational database management system (RDBMS) software grew by 9.4 percent to $14.6 billion in 2005, according to a new report from analyst firm IDC. The demand for data warehousing was cited as a growth factor.

Gartner Dataquest has also issued its annual RDBMS market share report for 2005, reporting that the market grew 8.3 percent to $13.8 billion. Notably, Gartner reported increased demand for data warehousing and business intelligence "driven by an explosion of data" as an important factor driving the growth of the RDBMS market.

Both the IDC and Gartner reports pertain solely to RDBMS software and support services. Their estimates do not include revenue from the sale of database hardware or professional services.

IDC reported key factors accelerating the growth in RDBMS software including:

  • The need for better information governance, motivated by compliance issues and resulting in such database-growing initiatives as master data management;
  • Higher demand in emerging economies, such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa;
  • Declining unit prices for data storage, making it cheaper than in the past to deploy more databases for failover, disaster recovery, reporting and scalability purposes.

Teradata distinguishes between growth in relational database software used for general purposes and growth pertaining specifically to enterprise data warehousing - its central information platform, marketed globally to Fortune 3,000 companies.
Stephen Brobst, chief technology officer for Teradata, identified trends driving the demand for advanced enterprise data warehousing. "The ability to acquire data in real time and to do event-based decision-making will become mainstream. The storing and analysis of unstructured data in RDBMS products will grow dramatically, given the low cost of disk space. And RDBMS self-management will become even more important than it already is today," Brobst said, adding that, "In the next five years, enterprises will be managing 30 times the data that they are managing today. Because Teradata's database is designed to handle unlimited scalability, the market is coming to us."

Brobst further differentiated Teradata in the context of data warehousing. "Teradata's continued growth is fueled not only by increases in data volume and related demands, but more importantly by the evolving need of companies to integrate and fully exploit that data," Brobst said. "Companies typically turn to Teradata and enterprise data warehousing after previous attempts with other technologies."

In addition to its effectiveness, he underscored the efficiencies that Teradata can deliver. "Teradata consistently proves to be far more cost effective for all facets of data warehousing and enterprise analytics," he said.

Finally, Brobst added that while database software is common and available from many sources, "the design and effective deployment of an enterprise data warehouse in an industry-specific environment, tuned to deliver measurable results and rapid return on investment, is definitely not a commodity."

Looking ahead to future growth in relational database adoption, the Gartner report stated that "the worldwide RDBMS market is poised for continued growth through 2010 as data management and integration take on a strategic importance in an increasing number of organizations."

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