July 24, 2008

The data warehouse DBMS consolidation has begun

There are, or soon will be, a number of strong players in the market for data warehouse specialty DBMS.

That doesn’t leave a lot of room for other players.

Specifically, my forecast of market effects of the Microsoft/DATAllegro deal is:

  1. Microsoft has just validated the claim that general-purpose RDBMS won’t cut it for high-end data warehousing.  In the immediate term, that’s good news for everybody except Oracle.
  2. Looking down the road, Microsoft just leapfrogged Oracle in an important area of database technology.  Oracle has to respond with comparable technology, most likely via acquisition.  When Microsoft and Oracle have digested their acquisitions, there won’t be room for as many small players as there is today.

Even so, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a system from whatever small player is winning your particular proof-of-concept. The ROI is enormous, so delaying adoption doesn’t make sense. And since most of the little guys run pretty vanilla ANSI SQL, and are used for databases with rather simple schemas, the cost of switching to another vendor later shouldn’t be particularly high.


6 Responses to “The data warehouse DBMS consolidation has begun”

  1. Tasso Argyros on July 25th, 2008 1:45 pm

    Great coverage of the news, Curt.

    This event actually provides a *second* admission from a traditional database vendor that OLTP databases are not up to the task for large-scale analytics. The first admission was in the 1990s when Sybase (ironically, originator of SQL Server code base) offered Sybase IQ as a separate product from its OLTP offering.

    I agree that companies will want the best solutions to derive the most value from data. In the last decade, Internet changed the world and old-market behemoths could not translate their might into the new market. In this decade, data will produce a similar disruption.

  2. Full Table Scan on August 13th, 2008 9:41 am

    Why I Think Industry Consolidation is Years Away…

    Those who know me personally know that I have an almost-annoying habit of frequently quoting movies. They won’t be surprised, then, when I sum up my thoughts on the MS/DATAllegro acquisition by quoting Jules Winnfield (played by Samuel L. Jackson) fr…

  3. Curt Monash on August 13th, 2008 11:41 am

    I tried posting this as a comment on Full Table Scan, but Tom’s comment-prevention technology is hyperactive. So I’ll put it here instead.



    Let’s see.

    1. Illustra was sold for big bucks. Cohera was sold for not-so-big bucks. I don’t think history is on your side in the assertion that a Mike Stonebraker company is not for sale.

    2. Most of the guys you name have taken a lot of venture capital. That means the investors control the financial decisions such as whether to sell.

    3. You’re right that the custom OS might be problematic in Exasol’s case. But being memory-centric is good, not bad, especially with solid-state drives coming down the pike.

    4. Kognitio has little to offer Netezza technically. They’re basically different approaches to the same problem.

    5. It would make all the sense in the world for Teradata to acquire a different technology. In particular, it would greatly sharpen their EDW vs. big-honking-data-mart positioning.



  4. Tom Briggs on August 13th, 2008 11:31 pm

    Heh… I hope that I have spam prevention technology and not comment prevention technology. 😛

    Quick counterpoints (only I could end up posting follow up comments to my own posts on somebody else’s blog…)

    1. re: Stonebraker companies – you may have caught me showing my age. That aside, I didn’t say that would never sell, it just seems too early.

    2. Agreed, VCs cause seemingly crazy things to happen. I paid almost no mind to that when thinking about things because I can’t predict what the heck VCs are going to do. 🙂

    4. The one thing Kognitio has that Netezza doesn’t is experience providing hosted database services. My thought there was that once the hardware platforms were sufficiently aligned NZ might be able to get something technically useful from the product in addition to that service experience. Creative thinking, I admit. (I even titled it that…)

    Thanks for the feedback. Good to hear from you.

  5. Curt Monash on August 14th, 2008 1:14 am


    When Stonebraker’s company Illustra sold to Informix for $300 or $400 million dollars, I’m not convinced it had more business than Vertica has today.

    As for neglecting the preferences of the actual decision makers (VCs) when you project what decisions somebody will make … hmm …. 🙂



  6. Infology.Ru » Blog Archive » Microsoft покупает DATAllegro on August 14th, 2008 4:05 pm

    […] The data warehouse DBMS consolidation has begun […]

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