As specialized analytic DBMS go, Sybase is near the top of the charts both in age (Sybase IQ was first introduced in the mid 1990s) and adoption. That’s even more true, of course, if we restrict the discussion strictly to columnar DBMS, aka column stores. Basic Sybase IQ adoption claims include:
- >1500 users
- >3000 installations (Sybase has variously cited 2.1 and 2.5+ as the installation/user ratio)
- At least ~50-60 installations with >5 terabytes of user data
Note that 98% of Sybase IQ installations are under 5 terabytes; the heart of Sybase IQ’s business is the sub-terabyte data warehouse market.*
*Unlike most other analytic DBMS startups, Kickfire seems to be increasingly pursuing. that market too.
Sybase IQ was traditionally sold mainly to users of Sybase’s core Adaptive Server Enterprise DBMS (whether or not they ran other DBMS such as Oracle as well). Sybase recently has become more aggressive about selling IQ into non-Sybase shops. More generally, Sybase seems to have repositioned IQ in 2005, decided it liked the results, and ramped up investment in Sybase IQ as of 2006.
The way Sybase breaks down its different target markets is somewhat confusing, but so far as I can tell:
- A whole lot of Sybase IQ installations are focused on straight reporting.
- Sybase is beefing up its efforts and penetration for IQ in “advanced analytics.” How advanced that is to date is a little unclear.
- Sybase claims 80-90+ Sybase IQ customers in the “data aggregator” business, counting fairly narrowly.
- Financial services is, unsurprisingly, a special-case market of particular focus.
Sybase IQ pricing is traditionally complicated; perhaps one of these months Sybase will clarify it for me. The latest iteration appears to be mainly per-core, but I don’t have a good sense for what kinds of workloads can be handled by what number of cores.