Slideshow Top Companies for Operational Database Management – Leaders & Challengers

  • October 11 2016, 6:30am EDT
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Top Companies for Operational Database Management – Leaders & Challengers

Research firm Gartner Group has just released its Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems. In this slideshow, we look at the top companies named to the Leaders and the Challengers quadrants.

The Leaders

“Leaders generally demonstrate the most support for a broad range of operational applications, based on support for a wide range of data types and multiple use cases,” Gartner explains. “These vendors demonstrate consistent customer satisfaction and strong customer support. Many have competed in this market for many years, and have built a broad partner ecosystem for their products. Hence, Leaders generally represent the lowest risk for customers in the areas of performance, scalability, reliability and support. As the market's demands change, so Leaders demonstrate strong vision in support not only of the market's current needs, but also of emerging trends such as, but not limited to, hybrid deployments and management, containerization and diversity of operational processing and query capabilities. Finally, the messaging, product R&D and delivery of Leaders are in line with today's market and with new trends in both DBMS software and hardware technology.”

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Microsoft continues to hold number two spot

Based in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft markets its SQL Server DBMS for the OPDBMS market, as well as the Microsoft Azure SQL Database (a DBMS platform as a service), and the NoSQL DBMSs Microsoft Azure DocumentDB and Azure Tables. “Gartner's 2015 market share data continues to show Microsoft with above market growth, solidifying it as the No. 2 vendor in total DBMS revenue (for the third year in a row),” Gartner says. “With the release of SQL Server 2016, Microsoft announced support for Linux, adding platform portability to its extensive functionality. Microsoft continues to lead the market in vision with its SQL offerings for IMDBMS, NoSQL (Doc and K-V), multiple cloud dbPaaS offerings, built-in access to analytics (supporting HTAP) and mobility support. Additionally, SQL Server 2016 brings Stretch Databases — on-premises databases "stretching" with partitions in the cloud.”

Oracle expanding its line of DBMS products

Based in Redwood Shores, California, Oracle markets a complete set of DBMS products for operational systems. These include Oracle Database, Oracle TimesTen, Oracle Berkeley DB, Oracle NoSQL Database and MySQL. “In addition to stand-alone software and cloud versions, several of Oracle's DBMSs are available in engineered systems (appliances),” Gartner notes. “Oracle's range of DBMS offerings continues to grow. The company provides multiple DBMSs (RDBMS, NoSQL, streaming and mobile) as stand-alone software, on appliances and in the cloud. New offerings, such as Oracle Cloud Machine and small or midsize business-focused editions of the Oracle Database Appliance, further expand the company's reach and capabilities. Reference customers scored Oracle Database highly for its HA/DR capabilities. Several references also cited Oracle's reliability and the performance of its in-memory option for analytics use cases.”

SAP enjoys strongest growth among DBMS vendors

Based in Walldorf, Germany, SAP has several DBMS products that are used for OPDBMS systems: SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), SAP SQL Anywhere and SAP Hana. SAP Hana is available as an appliance or as software only (Tailored Datacenter Integration); SAP ASE and SQL Anywhere as software only; and SAP ASE and SAP Hana are available as cloud offerings. “Gartner's market statistics for 2015 show SAP with the strongest growth of the top five DBMS vendors, largely due to SAP Hana. According to SAP, Hana had more than 10,000 customers as of the end of 2015. SAP remains a leader with its vision for HTAP, and more than 4,000 customers have purchased Suite on Hana (SoH) and S/4HANA, where the transactions and analytics run on a single, in-memory column-store DBMS (with Hana Live and SoH),” Gartner says.

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Amazon Web Services dominates cloud services market

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of, based in Seattle, Washington. AWS offers the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS, for MariaDB, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle and PostgreSQL), Amazon Aurora and Amazon DynamoDB (a NoSQL document and key value DBMS), as well as other DBMS services. “Amazon is the clear market leader in cloud services, in both infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform offerings. Although Microsoft Azure is developing into a strong contender, AWS still leads in the cloud market by a significant margin,” Gartner says. “AWS offers a broad range of product capabilities across many different services, including a Hadoop framework (Amazon Elastic MapReduce), a massive parallel processing (MPP) column-store (Amazon Redshift) designed for data warehousing, and Amazon ElastiCache, an in-memory data store.”

IBM’s reach includes support and services in multiple markets

“Based in Armonk, New York, IBM offers IBM Compose; DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows; DB2 for z/OS; DB2 on Cloud, dashDB for Transactions; IBM Graph, Information Management System (IMS); Informix; and open-source Cloudant and IBM Open Platform (Hadoop). “IBM's ODBMS portfolio includes multiple RDBMSs, document stores, graph stores, geospatial and time-series capabilities, plus Hadoop and Spark,” Gartner says. “IBM offers support, implementation and services in multiple vertical markets, and has a global network of software, hardware and service partners.”

The Challengers

“Challengers are stable vendors with strong, established offerings but a relative lack of vision,” Gartner explains. “It is normal for some vendors to have high scores for execution but to lag in terms of the adoption levels and vision needed for leadership. Challengers normally show strong corporate viability and financial stability, and demonstrate strong customer support. However, they lack some features to support the new trends in the OPDBMS market, such as support for interaction and observation data in transactions, and a roadmap for moving toward multi-model DBMS capabilities. Although they may be lacking in relation to some of the market's innovative concepts, Challengers offer stability, simplicity of installation and support, and strong performance. As with the Niche Players, Gartner considers support for only a limited number of data types and hardware models as evidence of limited vision.”

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MarkLogic’s strength is with its clear vision

Based in San Carlos, California, MarkLogic offers an ACID NoSQL document store DBMS in Essential Enterprise, Global Enterprise and Mobile editions, and a free, fully featured developer version. Its solutions can be deployed via leading cloud and virtualization platforms, including those of AWS, Azure and VMware. “MarkLogic has a focused and clear vision for its products and product focus. Its focus on integrating silos of information shows an understanding of current and future challenges in the market,” Gartner explains. “MarkLogic excels in its overall sales organization and the vertical solutions across territories and industries. The majority of reference customer survey responses indicated that customers had evaluated the other document-style DBMSs and then chosen MarkLogic.”

MongoDB a favorite among application developers

With headquarters in New York City, New York and Palo Alto, California, MongoDB offers an open-source document-style DBMS, plus the commercial version MongoDB Enterprise Advanced, as well as a dbPaaS offering called MongoDB Atlas, and cloud and on-premises management tools. “MongoDB is widely popular among application developers, with enthusiastic support driving wider adoption,” according to Gartner. “MongoDB has introduced a new storage engine (WiredTiger), an in-memory storage engine, an encrypted storage engine and the ability for third parties to add their own storage engines. These expanded capabilities will stretch the number of use cases that MongoDB can address. MongoDB received top scores from customer references for its track record in customer support.”

Enterprise DB boasts strong scaling, query features

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, privately held EnterpriseDB ships EDB Postgres in Developer, Standard and Enterprise subscriptions, based on the PostgreSQL open-source DBMS. It is an OPDBMS standard in half of the surveyed customers, where it has typically been in production for four years. “Gartner's inquiry volume for EnterpriseDB puts it into the top eight most-recognized vendors in the DBMS space,” Gartner notes. “It drives capabilities such as parallel query, horizontal scaling and increased throughput in the Postgres community, and derives substantial engineering cost leverage there. Steady release cadence and a strong roadmap are driving an increasingly rich array of features in EDB Postgres, leading to ratings in the top four for the traditional transactions and distributed variable data use cases. Substantial enhancements to tools, security and replication features, as well as Oracle compatibility, are paying dividends.”

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InterSystems is especially popular in healthcare market

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, InterSystems was founded in 1978. It markets Caché, which was originally an object-oriented DBMS, but is now a hybrid, multi-model, NoSQL/SQL transaction engine. Caché began, and remains, in a strong position in the healthcare sector. “Caché is a multi-model DBMS supporting SQL, object and NoSQL models. Caché is seeing adoption outside its strong base in healthcare, due to its strong functionality and reputation for support. Almost every customer reference called out Caché for its high performance and scalability. Of its surveyed customers, 87.5% plan to buy more of InterSystems' software, up from 85% in 2015. InterSystems is consistently among the highest ranking in this area. InterSystems has the second-highest customer reference survey score (93%) for the least downtime, and 56% of those surveyed had no problems with Caché.”

DataStax known for data distribution and speed features

Based in Santa Clara, California, DataStax provides DataStax Enterprise (DSE), a multi-model DBMS in an integrated platform built on the Apache Cassandra DBMS supporting tabular, key-value, document/JSON, and a graph store built with the Apache TinkerPop open-source project. “DataStax has continued to evolve DSE to meet emerging market requirements for postmodern operational applications, including the recent addition of a graph store to its multi-model capabilities. Its marketing messaging matches and communicates this focus well,” Gartner explains. “DataStax reference customers continue to rate their satisfaction with the product highly for its automated data distribution and high-speed ingestion capabilities, with more than 50% of the reference customers rating the product's overall performance as "outstanding."

Redis Labs tops for overall experience among customers

Based in Mountain View, California, Redis Labs offers an in-memory multi-model DBMS based on the open-source Redis project and provided as Redis Labs Enterprise Cluster (RLEC) on-premises software and Redis Cloud, a database-as-a-service operating in public or private clouds. In addition to its original key-value structure, RLEC offers models for document, graph and column-based structures. “Redis Labs topped the reference customer scores for overall experience of doing business with a vendor for the second year in a row,” Gartner says. “It also had the highest score for ease of programming, ease of implementation and professional services. Redis Labs' customers reported the highest transaction volumes of all vendors in this Magic Quadrant, with peak transaction rates in the top six. Customers also scored this vendor highest overall on HA/DR capabilities.”