Slideshow Top Companies for Operational Database Management – The Niche Players

  • October 12 2016, 6:30am EDT
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Top Companies for Operational Database Management – The Niche Players

Research firm Gartner Group has just released its Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems. In part one of this series, we looked at the companies named to the Leaders and the Challengers quadrants. Today we look at the top companies named as Niche Players.

The Niche Players

“Niche Players generally deliver a highly specialized product with limited market appeal,” Gartner explains. “Niche Player frequently provides an exceptional OPDBMS product, but is isolated or limited to a specific end-user community, region or industry. Although the solution itself may not have limitations, adoption is limited. The Niche Players quadrant contains vendors with OPDBMSs that:•Lack a strong or a large customer base.•Lack the breadth of functionality of those of the Leaders.•Lack the general customer acceptance or proven functionality to move beyond their niche status.”

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Couchbase known for performance and scalability

Based in Mountain View, California, Couchbase offers Couchbase Server, a multimodel DBMS featuring a distributed cache, a key-value store and a document store. “Couchbase Server is available as a commercially supported Enterprise Edition, as well as an unsupported Community Edition,” Gartner notes. “The company also offers Couchbase Mobile, a DBMS for mobile platforms with a synchronization gateway. Couchbase has improved its market visibility and sales execution throughout 2015 and into 2016. Users of Gartner's inquiry service increasingly evaluate Couchbase relative to its competitors. Reference customers cited Couchbase's performance and scalability as strengths, as well as its replication capabilities across data centers.”

MapR cited for real-time and analytics capabilities

Based in San Jose, California, MapR provides the MapR Converged Data Platform, which includes MapR-DB, MapR's Hadoop/Spark distribution, MapR-FS and MapR Streams. MapR-DB is a multimodel OPDBMS compatible with Apache HBase. It is available on-premises and through various cloud providers. “Reference customers repeatedly cite MapR's enterprise features and capabilities,” Gartner says. “This vendor continues to invest heavily in maturing its administrative and monitoring capabilities in distributed environments. MapR has aggressively expanded its global partner network with a focus on system integrators and value-added resellers. MapR continues to surround its DBMS with real-time and analytical capabilities that are suitable for geographically distributed applications and use cases.”

Clustrix scores above average in customer experience

Based in San Francisco, California, Clustrix offers a low-administration, shared-nothing, distributed RDBMS in ClustrixDB, with replication and autoscaling. It is available as on-premises software and in the cloud. “Reference customers gave Clustrix above-average scores in most areas of customer experience, such as ease of programming, support, documentation and professional services,” Gartner says. “Clustrix supports monthly licensing options to accommodate seasonal business and temporary workloads, such as e-commerce or online gaming. Clustrix recently added multimodel support — JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and XML — and improved its management interface. It also supports container-based deployment orchestration.”

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Basho Technologies cited as easy to operate and maintain

Based in Bellevue, Washington, Basho Technologies offers Riak KV, a distributed, masterless key-value store, and Riak S2, a multitenant cloud object store compatible with the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Both are available in open-source and commercial enterprise versions. “During 2015, Basho introduced the Basho Data Platform, comprising Riak KV, Riak S2, core services for replication, cluster management and add-ons for integration with Apache Spark, Apache Solr and Redis,” Gartner explains. “Basho's Riak KV and Riak S2 provide multiple data center distribution and replication with automated balancing; they do not fail upon server failure or network partition. Client comments indicated that Riak was easy to operate and availability easy to maintain. Basho has shown excellent growth, with 50% growth in total contract value and revenue from 2014 to 2015, based in part on utilizing its marketing budget to focus on converting its large base of downloads into paying customers.”

NuoDB tops for customer satisfaction

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, NuoDB provides a highly available, operational SQL DBMS designed to scale horizontally (geographically) and elastically. NuoDB supports on-premises, cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, and is available in Community and Enterprise Editions. NuoDB is also available on the AWS Marketplace. “Customers praised the HA/DR functionality of NuoDB (it received one of the highest customer reference scores for this), with 100% of surveyed customers reporting less than one day of outages during a 12-month period. NuoDB received excellent scores in customer satisfaction; the scores for ease of programming and ease of doing business were among the highest. This led to this vendor having one of the highest percentages of surveyed customers planning to purchase additional products.”

MemSQL excels at innovation, total transactions

MemSQL , founded in 2011, is a privately held company based in San Francisco, California. “It provides the MemSQL distributed in-memory, ACID-compliant RDBMS, which includes an in-memory row store, a memory- and disk-based column store, plus Streamliner, an integrated Spark solution for real-time data pipelining,” Gartner notes. “Its innovation score was the highest of any vendor in this Magic Quadrant beyond the four megavendors (IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP) and Amazon AWS. MemSQL's peak speed in transactions per minute was the third highest reported by reference customers in this report. It also scored well on total transactions processed per day. Two-thirds of MemSQL's reference customers rated their experience of doing business with the vendor as extremely positive.”

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Google’s size enables affordable and robust competition

Google , based in Mountain View, California, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Alphabet holding company. Google offers the Google Cloud Platform, which includes Cloud Bigtable, a managed NoSQL DBMS service; Cloud Datastore, a managed schemaless NoSQL DBMS service; and Cloud SQL, a managed MySQL database service. “Google is a financial giant, with both the financial resources to fund development of solutions and an infrastructure in place to support cloud offerings at competitive prices,” Gartner explains. “Google is an omnipresent force in the digital universe, with a very wide range of offerings. It can offer easy integration with other Google services for application developers. For the past decade, Google has published research that has driven technology advances in the DBMS community. This thought leadership bodes well for its current and future products.”

Neo Technology especially popular in government, healthcare

Privately held Neo Technology , which is based in San Mateo, California, offers Neo4j — an open-source native graph-style DBMS with ACID support and clustering for scalability and high availability — in Community, Enterprise and Government editions. “Neo4j is a native graph-style DBMS (as opposed to an existing DBMS to which graph capabilities have been added),” Gartner says. “It offers some support for use cases beyond basic graph functionality, especially ACID capabilities for transactional uses in a single instance and tunable consistency across clusters for scalability. Neo's continued growth is reflected in Gartner inquiry rates, which compare favorably with those of other emerging vendors. Neo is deployable on-premises and in the cloud, including both dbPaaS and PaaS offerings with partners plus a partner-based appliance offering. It also supports Docker for container-based deployment.”

Actian boasts strong geographic and industry coverage

Based in Redwood City, California, privately held Actian offers the closed-source Btrieve key-value store, Ingres RDBMS PSQL, and Versant object DBMS. “Actian has strong geographic and industry coverage, it claims 45% of its 15,000-plus overall customers are on the last two Ingres releases and that nearly half of its revenue comes from independent software vendors,” Gartner says. “Geospatial capabilities, security, and integrated console and cloud certifications were recently enhanced in Ingres. Actian is continuing to invest in R&D efforts for database platform as a service (dbPaaS) from its Pervasive Software acquisition in 2013. Actian's Ingres PSQL could enter the small-footprint, minimal-administration market that is so important to IoT applications, though a focus here is not yet apparent.”

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Fujitsu covers full range of deployment options

Based in Tokyo, Japan, Fujitsu offers the Fujitsu Open Data Platform (not to be confused with the Open Data Platform consortium for Hadoop standardization). “The Open Data Platform is made up of Fujitsu Enterprise Postgres in software, an appliance (Fujitsu Integrated System Primeflex), a cloud platform — Fujitsu Cloud IaaS Trusted Public S5 service (ITPS5) — and the Symfoware Analytics Server focused on analytical use cases,” according to Gartner . “Fujitsu is committed to compatibility with the PostgreSQL open-source DBMS. It claims full compatibility with the Community Edition, while adding additional performance, security and high-availability features. Fujitsu covers the full spectrum of deployment options, with software, appliance and cloud offerings — all of which have the same Postgres-compatible interface. Fujitsu's Primeflex appliance represents a hardware-optimized, open-source alternative to proprietary appliance DBMSs.”