Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Sunday, July 5, 2020
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Survey: Database Shift to Cloud Fuels Competition 

(Source: Shutterstock/Ton Snoei)

As relational and analytic databases move from the datacenter to the cloud, a new survey finds most enterprises are sticking with incumbents as they adopt database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offerings.

In a survey of database-in-the-cloud offerings released Tuesday (Oct. 27) by 451 Research, the vast majority of respondents (90 percent) said their choice of a database vendor relied heavily on potential suppliers' cloud strategy. Tesora, a database vendor whose service is based on OpenStack Trove, commissioned the DBaaS survey.

The shift to cloud databases is being fueled by new entrants like Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) who are challenging on-premise database vendors like Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) and IBM (NYSE: IBM). Nevertheless, the 451 Research survey found that database incumbents that also include SAP (NYSE: SAP), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and, for analytic workloads, Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC) are likely to hold serve as they shift their database offering to the cloud.

Cloud database services are indeed growing. Oracle added a data visualization service this week to its package of cloud-based analytics services. The new service is the latest software addition to Oracle’s big data portfolio as it defends its dominant position in the relational database market against open source technologies like Hadoop and NoSQL.

As competition heats up, 451 Research estimates that the DBaaS market could top $1.1 billion this year, growing at an annual rate of 86 percent to nearly $1.8 billion by the end of 2016. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they plan to increase spending on DBaaS over the next 12 months.

Among the top consideration for selecting a DBaaS was the ability to integrate these cloud platforms with existing production applications (44 percent) followed by support for specific database management systems (38 percent), the market researchers reported.

While security trailed other considerations as a factor in selecting a DBaaS vendor, more than 60 percent of survey respondents said data security concerns would limit their use of databases in the cloud. However, the overriding metric for success in adopting DBaaS was cost savings, which was cited by nearly two-thirds of respondents.

The survey of more than 200 database managers and IT managers in North American also found that nearly 90 percent have more than 25 databases running in production. That total undoubtedly reflects efforts to cope with huge data volumes as enterprise implement big data strategies.

Those strategies increasingly require a shift to cloud platforms. The survey found that 68 percent of respondents are using database technologies in private, public or hybrid clouds. Leading DBaaS applications include delivering applications (57 percent), web applications (53 percent) and online analytical processing applications (51 percent).

"The survey results indicate that despite the strength of public cloud database offerings like Amazon Relational Database Service, incumbent database providers remain in a good position to defend their respective installed bases and extend them with database-as-a-service offerings,” Matt Aslett, research director for data platforms and analytics at 451 Research, noted in a statement.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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