February 5, 2013

Comments on Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — concepts

The 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems is out. I’ll split my comments into two posts — this one on concepts, and a companion on specific vendor evaluations.


Let’s start by again noting that I regard Gartner Magic Quadrants as a bad use of good research. On the facts:

When it comes to evaluations, however, the Gartner Data Warehouse DBMS Magic Quadrant doesn’t do as well. My concerns (which overlap) start:

*I may focus more on marketing communications strategy than the whole Gartner database research team combined — but the only way I’d know whether Teradata’s lead gen is better than HP Vertica’s or vice-versa would be if both vendors happened to raise the matter during consulting sessions.

Specific product feature areas Gartner seems to emphasize include:

Most of this makes sense. But Gartner has been talking about the “logical data warehouse” for a long time without ever seeming to firm up what it is, as evidenced for example by some dueling summaries of the concept. So let’s drill down on the LDW.

I think “logical data warehouse” will wind up like “master data management” — i.e., it will be a goal and a business process, aided but not subsumed by some characteristic software. Beyond that, I’d say that generic, functional, high-performance data federation* software is a pipedream — building it would be as hard as building the mythical single DBMS that gives great functionality and performance, in all use cases, for all kinds of data. Just as DBMS need to be at least somewhat specialized in purpose, data federation software needs to be as well.

*While I disapprove, data virtualization seems to be the term that will win for describing data federation.

When Gartner refers to the “logical data warehouse” capabilities of analytic RDBMS — and the first sentence of the MQ report indeed specifies that the subject is “relational database management systems” — it seems to be looking for two things:

For those and other reasons, referring to the “logical data warehouse” features of an analytic RDBMS is problematic. I imagine Gartner will keep working at the “logical data warehouse” concept until it is more successfully fleshed out. But little weight should be placed on Gartner’s LDW-feature-evaluations of analytic RDBMS at this time.


5 Responses to “Comments on Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — concepts”

  1. Al DeLosSantos on February 5th, 2013 10:26 am

    Thanks for the comments Curt. There’s that “data virtualization” taxonomy issue creeping up again…Regards, Al D.

  2. Michael McIntire on February 6th, 2013 10:31 am

    Curt, I think the MQ is aged and does not represent the reality that the distribution of capability is widely varied and correlated to over all volume – not just feature function.

    The simple example is what this chart would look like if the constraint was Data Warehousing at 1PB or greater of raw data. 2/3rds of these companies would fall off the chart all together, and the distribution on the graph – particularly for all the upper right vendors would be entirely different.

    Any – ALL – implementors of Data Warehouses must make this simple volumetric test prior to even evaluation of competent vendor stacks – hence the MQ chart is largely invalid and cannot be used given the high likely hood of a general mistake in the guidance. At least from the lens of the 10PB+ implementor…

  3. Key questions when selecting an analytic RDBMS | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 6th, 2013 11:33 am

    […] recently complained that the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse DBMS conflates many use cases into one set of rankings. So perhaps now would be a good time to offer […]

  4. Curt Monash on February 6th, 2013 11:39 am

    See today’s post, Michael. GMTA 🙂

  5. Comments on Gartner’s 2012 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — evaluations | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 22nd, 2013 3:05 am

    […] my taste, the most glaring mis-rankings in the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management are that it is too positive on Kognitio and too negative on Infobright. Secondarily, it is too […]

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