Our 2013 Database survey is now live

451 Research’s 2013 Database survey is now live at http://bit.ly/451db13 investigating the current use of database technologies, including MySQL, NoSQL and NewSQL, as well as traditional relation and non-relational databases.

The aim of this survey is to identify trends in database usage, as well as changing attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle, and the competitive dynamic between MySQL and other databases, including NoSQL and NewSQL technologies.

There are just 15 questions to answer, spread over five pages, and the entire survey should take less than ten minutes to complete.

All individual responses are of course confidential. The results will be published as part of a major research report due during Q2.

The full report will be available to 451 Research clients, while the results of the survey will also be made freely available via a
presentation at the Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo in April.

Last year’s results have been viewed nearly 55,000 times on SlideShare so we are hoping for a good response to this year’s survey.

One of the most interesting aspects of a 2012 survey results was the extent to which MySQL users were testing and adopting PostgreSQL. Will that trend continue or accelerate in 2013? And what of the adoption of cloud-based database services such as Amazon RDS and Google Cloud SQL?

Are the new breed of NewSQL vendors having any impact on the relational database incumbents such as Oracle, Microsoft and IBM? And how is SAP HANA adoption driving interest in other in-memory databases such as VoltDB and MemSQL?

We will also be interested to see how well NoSQL databases fair in this year’s survey results. Last year MongoDB was the most popular, followed by Apache Cassandra/DataStax and Redis. Are these now making a bigger impact on the wider market, and what of Basho’s Riak, CouchDB, Neo4j, Couchbase et al?

Additionally, we have been tracking attitudes to Oracle’s ownership of MySQL since the deal to acquire Sun was announced. Have MySQL users’ attitudes towards Oracle improved or declined in the last 12 months, and what impact will the formation of the MariaDB Foundation have on MariaDB adoption?

We’re looking forward to analyzing the results and providing answers to these and other questions. Please help us to get the most representative result set by taking part in the survey at http://bit.ly/451db13

CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.08.17

Topics for this podcast:

*Red Hat puts enterprise cred and bet on OpenStack
*LexisNexis touts open source benefits of Hadoop alternative
*Who doesn’t love Hadoop?
*Proprietary vendors siding with open source
*PostgreSQL and its cloud, commercial opportunity
*Our Hosting and Cloud Transormation Summit NA event

iTunes or direct download (32:24, 5.8MB)

CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.06.22

Topics for this podcast:

*Sauce Labs grows with fast Selenium application testing
*MySQL, NoSQL, NewSQL survey results and analysis
*Microsoft’s Linux love leaves out Red Hat
*Hadoop roundup with Cloudera, Hortonworks and VMware
*2012 Future of Open Source Survey highlights

iTunes or direct download (28:28, 5.1MB)

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.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.02.17

Topics for this podcast:

*NewSQL, new company in Akiban
*Discussion of APIs as the ‘new’ open source
*NoSQL leader 10gen grows, gets more agile
*Our coming report on Cloud Performance Management
*Zimory acquires sones NoSQL development team

iTunes or direct download (28:01, 4.8MB)

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.

Is MySQL usage really declining?

If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.

Back in late 2009, at the height of the concern about Oracle’s imminent acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL, 451 Research conducted a survey of open source software users to assess their database usage and attitudes towards Oracle.

The results provided an interesting snapshot of the potential implications of the acquisition and the concerns of MySQL users and even, so I am told, became part of the European Commission’s hearing into the proposed acquisition (used by both sides, apparently, which says something about both our independence and the malleability of data).

One of the most interesting aspects concerned the apparently imminent decline in the usage of MySQL. Of the 285 MySQL users in our 2009 survey, only 90.2% still expected to be using it two years later, and only 81.8% in 2014.

Other non-MySQL users expected to adopt the open source database after 2009, but the overall prediction was decline. While 82.1% of our sample of 347 open source users were using MySQL in 2009, only 78.7% expected to be using it in 2011, declining to 72.3% in 2014.

This represented an interesting snapshot of sentiment towards MySQL, but the result also had to be taken with a pinch of salt given the significant level of concern regarding MySQL future at the time the survey was conducted.

The survey also showed that only 17% of MySQL users thought that Oracle should be allowed to keep MySQL, while 14% of MySQL users were less likely to use MySQL if Oracle completed the acquisition.

That is why we are asking similar questions again, in our recently launched MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey.

More than two years later Oracle has demonstrated that it did not have nefarious plans for MySQL. While its stewardship has not been without controversial moments, Oracle has also invested in the MySQL development process and improved the performance of the core product significantly. There are undoubtedly users that have turned away from MySQL because of Oracle but we also hear of others that have adopted the open source database specifically because of Oracle’s backing.

That is why we are now asking MySQL users to again tell us about their database usage, as well as attitudes to MySQL following its acquisition by Oracle. Since the database landscape has changed considerably late 2009, we are now also asking about NoSQL and NewSQL adoption plans.

Is MySQL usage really in decline, or was the dip suggested by our 2009 survey the result of a frenzy of uncertainty and doubt given the imminent acquisition. Will our current survey confirm or contradict that result? If you’re a MySQL user, tell us about your adoption plans by taking our current survey.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.01.20

Topics for this podcast:

*Hadoop v1.0 and year ahead
*Oracle-Cloudera deal for more Hadoop
*Oracle’s ‘Sun spot’ with Solaris
*Open Source M&A outlook for 2012
*Our new MySQL/NoSQL/NewSQL survey

iTunes or direct download (28:49, 4.9MB)

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: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MySQLNoSQLNewSQL

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.08.05

Topics for this podcast:

*Our latest special report, ‘Going Open, Going Closed’
*OpenStack marks one year with commercial success, community concerns
*Couchbase previews fruit of integration, unstructured query language
*OSCON and where we are in enterprise open source
*Vendor-led community projects discussed

iTunes or direct download (35:25, 6.1MB)

Presenting NoSQL, NewSQL and Beyond at OSBC

Next Monday, May 16, I will be hosting session at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco focused on NoSQL, NewSQL and Beyond.

The presentation covers our recently published report of the same name, and provides some additional context on the role of open source in driving innovation in distributed data management.

Specifically, the presentation looks at the evolving influence of open source in the database market and the context for the emergence of new database alternatives.

I’ll be walking through the six core drivers that have driven the development and adoption of NoSQL and NewSQL databases, as well as data grid/cache technologies – scalability, performance, relaxed consistency, agility, intricacy and necessity – providing some user adoption examples for each.

The presentation also discusses the broader trends impacting the data management, providing an introduction to our total data concept and how some of the drivers behind NoSQL and NewSQL are also impacting the role of the enterprise data warehouse, Hadoop, and data management in the cloud.

The presentation begins at 3pm PT on Monday 16. The event is taking place at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. I hope to see you there.

Necessity is the mother of NoSQL

As we noted last week, necessity is one of the six key factors that are driving the adoption of alternative data management technologies identified in our latest long format report, NoSQL, NewSQL and Beyond.

Necessity is particularly relevant when looking at the history of the NoSQL databases. While it is easy for the incumbent database vendor to dismiss the various NoSQL projects as development playthings, it is clear that the vast majority of NoSQL projects were developed by companies and individuals in response to the fact that the existing database products and vendors were not suitable to meet their requirements with regards to the other five factors: scalability, performance, relaxed consistency, agility and intricacy.

The genesis of much – although by no means all – of the momentum behind the NoSQL database movement can be attributed to two research papers: Google’s BigTable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data, presented at the Seventh Symposium on Operating System Design and Implementation, in November 2006, and Amazon’s Dynamo: Amazon’s Highly Available Key-Value Store, presented at the 21st ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, in October 2007.

The importance of these two projects is highlighted by The NoSQL Family Tree, a graphic representation of the relationships between (most of) the various major NoSQL projects:

Not only were the existing database products and vendors were not suitable to meet their requirements, but Google and Amazon, as well as the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, PowerSet and Zvents, could not rely on the incumbent vendors to develop anything suitable, given the vendors’ desire to protect their existing technologies and installed bases.

Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO, has explained that as far as Amazon was concerned, the database layer required to support the company’s various Web services was too critical to be trusted to anyone else – Amazon had to develop Dynamo itself.

Vogels also pointed out, however, that this situation is suboptimal. The fact that Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Amazon have had to develop and support their own database infrastructure is not a healthy sign. In a perfect world, they would all have better things to do than focus on developing and managing database platforms.

That explains why the companies have also all chosen to share their projects. Google and Amazon did so through the publication of research papers, which enabled the likes of Powerset, Facebook, Zvents and Linkedin to create their own implementations.

These implementations were then shared through the publication of source code, which has enabled the likes of Yahoo, Digg and Twitter to collaborate with each other and additional companies on their ongoing development.

Additionally, the NoSQL movement also boasts a significant number of developer-led projects initiated by individuals – in the tradition of open source – to scratch their own technology itches.

Examples include Apache CouchDB, originally created by the now-CTO of Couchbase, Damien Katz, to be an unstructured object store to support an RSS feed aggregator; and Redis, which was created by Salvatore Sanfilippo to support his real-time website analytics service.

We would also note that even some of the major vendor-led projects, such as Couchbase and 10gen, have been heavily influenced by non-vendor experience. 10gen was founded by former Doubleclick executives to create the software they felt was needed at the digital advertising firm, while online gaming firm Zynga was heavily involved in the development of the original Membase Server memcached-based key-value store (now Elastic Couchbase).

In this context it is interesting to note, therefore, that while the majority of NoSQL databases are open source, the NewSQL providers have largely chosen to avoid open source licensing, with VoltDB being the notable exception.

These NewSQL technologies are no less a child of necessity than NoSQL, although it is a vendor’s necessity to fill a gap in the market, rather than a user’s necessity to fill a gap in its own infrastructure. It will be intriguing to see whether the various other NewSQL vendors will turn to open source licensing in order to grow adoption and benefit from collaborative development.

NoSQL, NewSQL and Beyond is available now from both the Information Management and Open Source practices (non-clients can apply for trial access). I will also be presenting the findings at the forthcoming Open Source Business Conference.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.04.15

Topics for this podcast:

*New CAOS/IM Special Report on database alternatives
*Future of Open Source, Future of Cloud Computing surveys
*Database heavyweights and the new challengers
*VC funding for open source in Q1 2011
*Cloudera and Apache team on Hadoop
*VMware’s Cloud Foundry PaaS, latest on devops

iTunes or direct download (30:14, 5.2MB)

NoSQL, NewSQL and Beyond: The answer to SPRAINed relational databases

The 451 Group’s new long format report on emerging database alternatives, NoSQL, NewSQL and Beyond, is now available.

The report examines the changing database landscape, investigating how the failure of existing suppliers to meet the performance, scalability and flexibility needs of large-scale data processing has led to the development and adoption of alternative data management technologies.

Specifically, the report covers:

  • NoSQL databases designed to meet scalability requirements of distributed architectures and/or schema-less data management requirements, including big tables, key value stores, document database and graph databases
  • NewSQL databases designed to meet scalability requirements of distributed architectures or to improve performance such that horizontal scalability is no longer a necessity, including new MySQL storage engines, transparent sharding technologies, software and hardware appliances, and completely new databases
  • Data grid/cache products designed to store data in memory to increase application and database performance, covering a spectrum of data management capabilities from non-persistent data caching to persistent caching, replication, and distributed data and compute grid functionality

You can see how these products fit into the wider data management landscape from the chart below. The shaded areas are those specifically covered in this report.

The answer to SPRAINed relational databases

SPRAIN, used in the above graphic, is an acronym that refers to the six key factors driving the adoption of alternative data management technologies to traditional relational databases that are being ‘sprained’ as a result of being stretched beyond their normal capacity by the needs of high-volume, highly distributed or highly complex applications.

Those six key drivers, and their associated sub-drivers, are as follows:

  • Scalability – hardware economics
  • Performance – MySQL limitations
  • Relaxed consistency – CAP theorem
  • Agility – polyglot persistence
  • Intricacy – big data, total data
  • Necessity – open source

The report examines each of these drivers and sub-drivers in turn, investigating how they are driving interest in alternative database approaches in general, and how they prompted the development of specific NoSQL, NewSQL and data grid/cache products and services.

It continues with profiles of the individual database alternatives and their use cases and case studies before concluding with a discussion of the impact of these database alternatives on the wider database market and the likely consolidation, confluence and proliferation of various technologies looking forward.

Here’s a selection of some of our key findings:

  • The database market remains dominated by relational databases and the incumbent industry giants, but the emergence of NoSQL and NewSQL alternatives has in part been driven by the inability of these products to address emerging distributed and schema-less data management requirements.
  • Polyglot persistence, and the associated trend toward polyglot programming, is driving developers toward making use of multiple database products depending on which might be suitable for a particular task.
  • The NoSQL projects were developed in response to the failure of existing suppliers to address the performance, scalability and flexibility requirements of large-scale data processing, particularly for Web and cloud computing applications.
  • NewSQL and data-grid products have emerged to meet similar requirements among enterprises, a sector that is now also being targeted by NoSQL vendors.
  • While NoSQL is seen as a software innovation prompted by the need to deal with large volumes of data, the software innovation was a direct response to the improved performance of commodity hardware clusters and the ability to spread data storage and processing across that hardware.
  • Changing hardware economics mean that distributed server architecture is increasingly being adopted in traditional enterprise environments. The emergence of NewSQL providers is a direct response to the increasing need for scalable data management products to make more efficient use of this architecture.
  • Distributed data-grid/cache products are increasingly being positioned as potential alternatives to relational databases as the primary platform for distributed data management, with a relational database relegated to a supporting role.

The report is available now from both the Information Management and Open Source practices (non-clients can apply for trial access). I will also be presenting the findings at the forthcoming Open Source Business Conference.