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NoSQL LinkedIn Skills Index – rebooted

I decided to reboot our analysis of NoSQL skills, according to LinkedIn search results.

There are two main reasons for doing so: the first iteration did not take in enough of the various NoSQL projects; and I have – with help – worked my way around the eccentricities of LinkedIn search to produce a more accurate result for Apache Cassandra.

The analysis therefore now incorporates a wider spectrum of NoSQL projects, the top ten most popular of which are displayed below. The chart illustrates the number of LinkedIn member profiles mentioning each of the NoSQL projects:


The main change from the previous results is the promotion of Apache Cassandra, thanks to our better search string, while MarkLogic is the first of our new additions to make the top ten.

What hasn’t changed is the dominance of MongoDB, which is way-ahead of all the others. While I am not breaking out growth percentages versus previous counts due to the reboot, it is fair to say that MongoDB is outpacing many of its rivals. Neo4j and DynamoDB are also growing particularly well.

In fact, as can be seen from the chart below, MongoDB accounts for 43% of all mentions of NoSQL technologies in LinkedIn profiles, according to our sample.


NoSQL Road Show heads for Basel

The latest leg of the NoSQL Road Show will take place in Basel, Switzerland at the end of August.

The schedule has been expanded compared to previous events, and now includes presentations related to Apache HBase, MongoDB, Dynamo, Hadoop and Neo4j, in addition to Riak.

I will once again be presenting on the topic of NoSQL, NewSQL, Big Data…Total Data – The Future of Enterprise Data Management, although since is the first NoSQL Road Show I have attended since the publication of our MySQL vs. NoSQL and NewSQL, I’ll be adding in some new content related to market sizing and growth estimates, as well as competitive trends.

The event takes place August 30 at Ramada Plaza Basel. Full details and registration information are available here.

Updated: NoSQL database skills popularity, according to LinkedIn

A few weeks ago I updated our previous analysis of LinkedIn search results to take us up to the end of Q2 2012, but for one reason or another I didn’t get around to posting the results. As you can see from the results, there isn’t anything particularly controversial to say about them, other than that MongoDB continues to extend its lead over the rest in terms of the number of mentions in LinkedIn member profiles.

One thing that isn’t immediately clear from the chart is that Neo4j overtook Riak in the second quarter to claim sixth place by a narrow margin. Also, Apache HBase has consolidated its third place position having overtaken Apache CouchDB in the first quarter.

Neo4j’s ascendency is due to it having the fastest growth rate of all the NoSQL projects in Q2, according to our search results. The number of Neo4j mentions in LinkedIn profiles grew 65.8% between our March and June searches, followed by MongoDB (59.5%) and Redis (59.1%).

As you can see, I have also added Amazon’s DynamoDB to the list for this iteration. It will be interesting to see how it performs going forward. As usual, it should be noted that the results for Apache Cassandra are probably disproportionately low since we have to search for the full phrase in order to avoid including people called Cassandra.

I have also adjusted once again how we assess Couchbase/Membase, having belatedly realised that LinkedIn supports boolean searches. As of this point forward, the result represents a search for Membase OR Couchbase.

Once again, we would also note that this is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis, but rather a snapshot of one particular data source.

A different perspective on NoSQL vendor traction

Amid the reporting of 10gen’s $42m funding round yesterday a specific claim about 10gen’s success to date caught my eye.

“10gen says it’s got about half the NoSQL market wrapped up already. This is based on… indicators, such as how often LinkedIn profiles mention MongoDB.”

While our own analysis of LinkedIn profiles did indeed indicate that 10gen has a sizeable lead over its NoSQL rivals, this only accounts for the NoSQL market *to date*, and the NoSQL vendors have barely scratched the surface.

451 Research recently estimated that NoSQL software vendors between them generated revenue of just $20m in 2011 (less than half 10gen’s latest funding round), and that the market will grow at a CAGR of 82% to reach $215m by 2015.

10gen is well placed to capitalize on this growth given its customer and revenue traction to date. While we are not breaking out individual revenue estimates the chart below shows revenue and customer estimates for 10gen, Basho, Couchbase and DataStax, with the scale adjusted to fit on a single chart.

The chart appears to confirm 10gen’s claim to have half the NoSQL market wrapped up, at least in terms of customers. However, what this chart doesn’t address is the relative strategy stage of each vendor in terms of customer traction.

10gen has done extremely well in growing a large customer base via its focus on ease of developer adoption, and is now turning its attention to the sort of capabilities required by traditional enterprises.

Other vendors in the NoSQL space have done precisely the opposite: starting with enterprise capabilities and now turning their attention to greater ease of use and developer adoption.

We can begin to get a sense of how these strategies are playing out if we add a column for revenue per customer (again re-scaled). Here you can see that 10gen is actually doing less well than some of its rivals.

The size of the MongoDB installed base gives 10gen a big opportunity to aim at, but others are arguably ahead in terms of traction with enterprise customers. That’s why our market sizing methodology is specifically designed to take multiple (sometimes conflicting) factors into account in creating an estimate for each vendor, as well as the aggregate total.

10gen may well have about half the current NoSQL market wrapped up but this market has really only just begun.

MySQL vs. NoSQL and NewSQL – survey results

Back in January we launched a survey of database users to explore the competitive dynamic between MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL databases, and to to discover if MySQL usage is really declining – as had been indicated by the results of a prior survey.

The publication of the associated report took longer than expected, mostly because we expanded its scope to include revenue and growth estimates for the MySQL ecosystem, NoSQL and NewSQL sectors respectively, and with that report now published I am pleased to fulfil our promise to share the survey results.

We seem to be having some random embedding issues so for now the results can be found on SlideShare, adapted from the presentation given at OSBC earlier this week. For greater context, we have also included an explanation of each slide, below:

Slide 2: Provides an overview of the associated report – MySQL vs NoSQL and NewSQL 2011:2015, which is available here.

Slide 3: Explains why we launched the report. We once described as the crown jewel of the open source database world, since its focus on Web-based applications, its lightweight architecture and fast-read capabilities, and its brand differentiated it from all of the established database vendors and made for a potentially complementary acquisition. Today, the competitive situation is very different.

Slide 4: Oracle’s MySQL business faces competition from the rest of the MySQL ecosystem, as illustrated in Slide 5, many of which have emerged following Oracle’s acquisition of Sun/MySQL.

Slide 6: The emergence of these alternatives was triggered, in part, by concern about the future of MySQL. A previous 451 survey,conducted in November 2009, showed that there was real concern about the acquisition, with only 17% of MySQL users believing Oracle should be allowed to acquire MySQL.

Slide 7: The 2009 survey also showed that while 82.1% of respondents were already using MySQL, that figure was expected to drop to 72.3% by 2014. That survey was conducted amid a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding the future of MySQL, and one of the drivers for our current report was to see if that predicted decline occurred.

Slide 8: To put this in context, we asked the current survey sample (which included 205 database users) about their reaction to the acquisition. While the vast majority of MySQL users reported that they continued to use MySQL where appropriate, 5% indicated that they were more inclined to use MySQL, and 26% said they were less inclined to use MySQL. Not surprisingly the proportion of users less inclined to use MySQL was much higher amongst those abandoning MySQL than those sticking with MySQL.

Slide 9: We also asked respondents to rate Oracle’s ownership of MySQL on a range of very good to very bad. Overall, the balance tipped in favour of a negative perception of Oracle’s track record, while there was naturally a more negative perception of Oracle amongst those abandoning MySQL compared to MySQL mainstays. However, the results showed that the percentage of respondents rating the company’s performance ‘very good’ and ‘very bad’ was actually quite similar for both abandoners and mainstays. While those abandoning MySQL are more likely to have a negative perception of Oracle, it is not necessarily safe to assume that Oracle’s actions and strategy are the cause of the abandonment. Clearly there are other competitive forces at work.

Slide 10: Not least the emergence of NoSQL, as illustrated in Slide 11, and NewSQL, as illustrated in Slide 12.

Slide 13: Based on some very high profile examples of projects migrating from MySQL to NoSQL, there is a common assumption that NoSQL and NewSQL pose a direct, immediate threat to MySQL. We believe the competitive dynamic is more complex.

Slide 14: While 49% of those survey respondents abandoning MySQL planned on retaining or adopting NoSQL databases, only 12.7% said they had actually deployed NoSQL databases as a *direct replacement* for MySQL.

Slide 15: In comparison, there is much greater overlap between NewSQL and MySQL, but of a complementary nature. 33% of respondents retaining MySQL had considered, tested or deployed NewSQL database technologies, while approximately 75% of the NewSQL revenue for 2011 is from vendors that we also consider part of the MySQL ecosystem.

Slide 16: The results of our 2012 survey show that MySQL is currently the most popular database amongst our survey sample, used by 80.5% of respondents today.

Slide 17: However, it’s popularity is again expected to decline to 2014 and 2017. This indicates an accelerated decline in the use of MySQL, compared the findings of our 2009 survey. While that survey was conducted amid a climate of fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding the future of MySQL we are not aware of any specific reason why the 2012 sample, which was self-selecting, should have a disproportionately negative attitude to MySQL or Oracle.

Slide 18: MySQL’s predicted decline of 26.4 percentage points between 2012 and 2017 compares to a predicted decline of just 9.3 percentage points for Microsoft SQL Server, and only 5.9 percentage points for Oracle Database. In comparison, MariaDB, Apache Cassandra and Apache CouchDB are expected to increase in usage by 3.0 percentage points or greater between 2011 and 2017.

Slide 19: Although alternative MySQL distributions including MariaDB, Drizzle and Percona Server are expected to see increased adoption over the next five years, they are not growing at the same rate that MySQL is declining.

Slide 20: So where are those abandoning MySQL going to? Looking specifically at the 55 MySQL users who expect to abandon it by 2017 (which is admittedly a small sample, and therefore not to be considered statistically relevant) we see that PostgreSQL is the most popular database being retained or adopted over the same period, followed by Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MongoDB, and MariaDB.

Slide 21: This only tells part of the story, however. Just because a company is retaining Oracle Database, for example, does not necessarily mean that Oracle Database is being used as a replacement for the abandoned MySQL. We therefore also specifically asked survey respondents which databases they had considered, tested or deployed as a direct replacement for MySQL. The response from the 55 respondents planning to abandon MySQL again saw PostgreSQL, MariaDB and MongoDB as the most popular answers, followed by Apache CouchDB and Apache HBase.

Slide 22: While NoSQL database were well-represented in this list, we saw that anyone considering NoSQL considered multiple NoSQL databases. Per respondent, NoSQL databases were the least considered of all alternatives by existing MySQL users.

Slide 23: The survey results suggest that MongoDB is the most often considered, tested or deployed as a replacement or complement for MySQL, followed by Apache CouchDB, Apache HBase, Apache Cassandra/DataStax, and Redis.

Slide 24: NewSQL technologies that improve the scalability and performance of MySQL scored well, with eight of the top 10 most considered NewSQL technologies being directly complementing MySQL. Of the other two, one (Drizzle) is a derivative of MySQL, and the other (Clustrix) can also be used in a complementary manner as part of a MySQL cluster, although in the long-term is positioned as a direct alternative.

Slide 25: MariaDB is the member of the MySQL ecosystem most often considered, tested or deployed as a replacement or complement for MySQL, followed by Continuent Tungsten, Percona Server, MySQL Cluster, and Amazon RDS.

Slide 26: More than half of all MySQL users had considered, tested or deployed another relational database as a direct replacement, while over 40% had considered, tested or deployed a caching technology to complement MySQL. The memcached caching technology was the most widely-deployed of all the technologies we asked about, followed closely by PostgreSQL, which supported anecdotal evidence that a number of MySQL users are migrating to the other major open source transactional database.

Slide 27: For the record, the survey had 205 respondents. Primary job roles among respondents included: director/manager of IT infrastructure (18.0%); architect/engineer (17.6%); developer/programmer (15.6%); database/systems administrator (14.6%); consultant (14.1%); VP level or above (13.7%); analyst (3.4%); and line-of-business manager (2.9%).

Further survey analysis and perspective on the competitive dynamic between MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL is available in the MySQL vs NoSQL and NewSQL report, which also includes market sizing and growth predictions for the three segments.

451 Research delivers market sizing estimates for NoSQL, NewSQL and MySQL ecosystem

NoSQL and NewSQL database technologies pose a long-term competitive threat to MySQL’s position as the default database for Web applications, according to a new report published by 451 Research.

The report, MySQL vs. NoSQL and NewSQL: 2011-2015, examines the competitive dynamic between MySQL and the emerging NoSQL non-relational, and NewSQL relational database technologies.

It concludes that while the current impact of NoSQL and NewSQL database technologies on MySQL is minimal, they pose a long-term competitive threat due to their adoption for new development projects. The report includes market sizing and growth estimates, with the key findings as follows:

• NoSQL software vendors generated revenue* of $20m in 2011. NoSQL software revenue is expected to rapidly grow at a CAGR of 82% to reach $215m by 2015.

• NewSQL software vendors generated revenue* of $12m in 2011 (of which $9m is also considered MySQL ecosystem revenue). NewSQL revenue is also expected to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 75% to reach $112m by 2015 (including $56m in MySQL ecosystem revenue).

• The MySQL support ecosystem generated revenue* of $171m in 2011 (including $9m from NewSQL technologies). MySQL ecosystem revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40% to reach $664m by 2015 (including $56m in NewSQL revenue).

“The MySQL ecosystem is now arguably more healthy and vibrant than it has ever been, with a strong vendor committed to the core product, and a wealth of alternative and complementary products and services on offer to maintain competitive pressure on Oracle,” commented report author Matthew Aslett, research manager, data management and analytics, 451 Research.

“However, the options for MySQL users have never been greater, and there is a significant element of the MySQL user base that is ready and willing to look elsewhere for alternatives,”

As well as revenue and growth estimates, the report also includes a survey of over 200 database administrators, developers, engineers and managers. The survey findings include:

• While the majority of MySQL users continue to use MySQL where appropriate, the use of MySQL is expected to decline from 80.5% of survey respondents today to 62.4% by 2014 and just 54.1% by 2017.

• Despite the emergence of NoSQL and NewSQL database products, the most common direct replacement for MySQL among survey respondents today is PostgreSQL, which is also the focus of a recent burst of commercial activity.

• While 49% of those survey respondents abandoning MySQL planned on retaining or adopting NoSQL databases, only 12.7% of MySQL abandoners said they had actually deployed NoSQL databases as a direct replacement for MySQL.

“While there have been some high profile example of users migrating from MySQL to NoSQL database, the huge size of MySQL installed base means that these projects are comparatively rare,” commented Aslett.

The report describes how NoSQL database technologies are largely being adopted for new projects that require additional scalability, performance, relaxed consistency and agility, while NewSQL database technologies are, at this stage, largely being adopted to improve the performance and scalability of existing databases, particularly MySQL.

“NoSQL and NewSQL have not made a significant impact on the MySQL installed base at this stage but MySQL is no longer the de facto standard for new application development projects,” said Aslett. “As a result, NoSQL and NewSQL pose a significant long-term competitive threat to MySQL’s dominance.”

MySQL vs. NoSQL and NewSQL: 2011-2015 is now available to existing 451 Research subscribers. Non-clients can apply for trial access to 451 Research’s content.

*451 Research’s analysis of MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL revenue is based on a bottom-up analysis of each participating vendor’s current revenue and growth expectations, and includes software license and subscription support revenue only. Revenue line items not included in these figures include hardware associated with the delivery of these services, revenue related to applications deployed on these databases, traditional hosting services, or systems integration performed by the vendors or other third parties.

The revenue estimates do not take into account unpaid usage of open source licensed MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL software, and therefore represent only a fraction of the total addressable market. Based on the above revenue figures and other analysis, 451 Research estimates that the total value of the MySQL ecosystem in terms of ‘displaced’ proprietary software might equate to $1.7bn in 2011, while the NoSQL market had a displaced value of $195.7m and the NewSQL sector a displaced value of $99.4m.

Webinar: top 5 NoSQL gotchas

I’m taking part in a GigaOM Pro Webinar panel on April 4 entitled “Top 5 gotchas that prevent NoSQL from meeting business goals”.

Sponsored by DataStax, the panel also includes Billy Bosworth, DataStax CEO; Jo Maitland, Research Director, Cloud, GigaOM Pro; and is moderated by Paul Miller, Cloud Curator, GigaOM Pro.

Among the topics up for debate:

  • Will IT organizations get bogged down in NoSQL infrastructure battles instead of focusing on big data apps that satisfy the needs of the business?
  • What are the advantages and potential challenges to migrating towards a single data store?
  • Does simplifying the infrastructure mean that you now have to deal with poor performance due to conflicting workloads?
  • What lessons can we learn from history as we bring on NoSQL systems?
  • What unspoken business requirements can we anticipate to prevent being caught off guard?

The event takes place at Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 10 AM, PST. Register here

Update on the relative popularity of NoSQL database skills

Back in December we ran a series of posts looking at the geographic distribution of NoSQL skills, according to the results of searching LinkedIn member profiles, culminating in a look at the relative overall popularity of the major NoSQL databases.

This week I took another look at LinkedIn to update the results for a forthcoming report, which gives us the opportunity to see how the results have changed over the past quarter:

While this provides us with an interesting opportunity to track LinkedIn profile mentions over time there isn’t a huge amount we can learn from this first update – other than that MongoDB seems to be increasing its dominance.

The only significant change that isn’t immediately obvious from looking at the chart is that Apache HBase has overtaken Apache CouchDB by a tiny margin to claim third place overall.

As we noted last time, however, Apache HBase is more reliant on the US than other NosQL databases for its LinkedIn mentions: it is the second most prevalent NoSQL database mentioned in the USA but fourth in the rest of the world.

Two other points to take into consideration:

– The results for Apache Cassandra are probably disproportionately low since we have to search for the full phrase in order to avoid including people called Cassandra.

– Previously we only searched for Membase. This time we added together the search results for both Membase and Couchbase. This may mean the result for Couch/Membase is disproportionately high since some members probably listed both.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis, however, but rather a snapshot of one particular data source.

Last chance to take part in our MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey

Thanks to everyone who has already taken part in our survey exploring changing attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle and examining the competitive dynamic between MySQL and other database technologies, including NoSQL and NewSQL.

The response has been great and even a quick look at the results makes for interesting reading, particularly in the light of our previous findings which indicated declining MySQL usage.

I am really looking forward to having the opportunity for a deep dive into the results and break out the figures to get a better understanding of the potential impact of alternative MySQL distribution and support providers, as well as NoSQL and NewSQL, on continued usage of MySQL.

The survey results will be made freely available on our blogs, as well as being included in a long format report containing our additional analysis and research related to the MySQL ecosystem and competitive dynamic.

Right now, however, is your last chance to contribute to the survey and get your voice heard. There are just 12 questions to answer, spread over four pages, and the entire survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. All individual responses are of course confidential.

The survey will close in 24 hours.

451 Research MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey

I’ve just launched a new survey that should be of interest if you are currently using or actively considering MySQL or any of the NoSQL or NewSQL offerings

The aim of the survey is threefold:

– identify trends in database usage over time
– explore changing attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle
– examine the competitive dynamic between MySQL and other database technologies, including NoSQL and NewSQL

There are just 12 questions to answer, spread over four pages, and the entire survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete.

All individual responses are of course confidential. The results will be published as part of a major research report due at the end of Q1. Thanks in advance for your participation.

The survey can be found at: