I’ve been arguing for a while that Oracle and Microsoft are screwed in high-end data warehousing. The reason is that they’re stuck with SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing) architectures, while Teradata, Netezza, DATAllegro, and many others enjoy the benefits of MPP (Massively Parallel Processing). Thus, Teradata and DATAllegro boast installations in the hundreds of terabytes each, while Oracle and Microsoft users usually have to perform unnatural acts of hard-coded partitioning even to reach the 10 terabyte level.
That said, there are at least three ways Oracle and/or Microsoft could get out of this technical box:
1. They could buy or just partner with MPP vendors such as Dataupia, who offer plug-compatibility with their respective main DBMS.
2. They could buy whoever they want, plug-compatibility be damned. Presumably, they’d quickly add a light-weight data federation front-end to give the appearance of integration, then merge the products more closely over time.
3. They could develop or buy technology like DATAllegro’s, which essentially federates instances of an ordinary SMP DBMS across nodes of an MPP grid (Greenplum does something similar). I imagine that, for example, ripping Ingres out of DATAllegro and slotting in Oracle instead would be a pretty straightforward exercise; even without dramatic change to any of the optimizations, the resulting port would be something that ran pretty quickly on Day 1.
Bottom line: Oracle and Microsoft are hemorrhaging at the data warehouse high end now. But there are ways they could stanch the bleeding.