The Changing Face of Operational DBMS

*Note: All the analysis below represents the views of NuoDB, not the Gartner analysts. For Gartner’s viewpoint on the market, please read the full Magic Quadrant for Operational DBMS report, which can be found here.

Technology markets are constantly shifting and evolving to meet customer expectations and take advantage of new trends and capabilities. During my tenure at Qlik, I witnessed this shift first hand as newcomers like Qlik and Tableau broke into the existing business intelligence market that had been dominated for years by major incumbents like SAP, IBM and Oracle. The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for business intelligence shows how a massive shift has played out in that market over the past five years, with Qlik and Tableau occupying the “leaders” quadrant, and the original incumbents pushed down or out altogether.

I think we are now seeing a similar transition in the database market. In recent years, Gartner has identified a drastic shift in the market as customers challenge and pressure incumbents such as Oracle and even NoSQL vendors to meet the needs of business-critical applications, particularly as they migrate to cloud deployments. We believe that innovators such as ourselves (the “avant-garde” databases) have helped to increase that pressure.

This year’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems represents this changing market. Rising customer requirements and expectations have raised the bar, so it’s not surprising that there are 11 vendors from last year’s Quadrant that are missing in this year’s version.

We here at NuoDB see three distinct types of databases – each with their place in the market. First, we have traditional RDBMS players - those old stalwarts whose offerings are based on reliable, decades-old technology, but who struggle to adapt their monolithic architectures to the realities and requirements of the cloud. Even AWS falls into this camp since its technology is built on a MySQL base.

Second, we have the NoSQL players who had rushed to fill the cloud void. Their ability to deliver on capabilities such as automated resiliency and scale out that are critical to cloud deployments led to tremendous adoption - particularly for the early cloud applications, which were far less likely to be dealing with important, business-critical data.

Yet for many customers, the abandonment of SQL and the compromises required on transactional consistency and durability are non-starters when it comes to the traditionally on-premises applications that power their businesses. These applications need a solution that represents the merger of NoSQL’s advantages and traditional RDBMS’s reliability and familiarity.

And that search for an alternative is what brings them to the third category – often represented in the “Niche” quadrant - and hopefully, NuoDB.

According to Gartner, “A Niche Player frequently provides an exceptional OPDBMS product, but is isolated or limited to a specific end-user community, region or industry.”

We freely admit that we aren’t the right solution for everyone. But if you’re an organization that’s looking to either migrate an on-premises application to the cloud, or to develop or modernize a cloud application, we think we’re the right fit.

Our customers choose us because we make things easy:

  • Instead of architecting your application around your database’s limitations, you can build the application you want and be confident that your database can do what it should do best - manage your data.
  • You want an elastic SQL database for your cloud applications? We’ve got you covered. No new skills to learn. No need to rewrite your code. No additional complex and costly add-on applications to scale-out your SQL database. No need for complex replication or sharding.
  • Our technology is easy to work with, and so are we. Our reference customers gave us high marks for customer satisfaction, and there’s a reason. 

But take a look at the Gartner analysis for yourself, and please, take the time to review what the analysts say about NuoDB and the rest of the market. This is an interesting time in the database market, and I predict that over the next several years, we’ll see a shift similar to what the business intelligence market recently went through. What do you think?

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request here.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

As Chief Marketing Officer at NuoDB, Jeff defines and executes NuoDB’s go-to-market approach and drives all aspects of corporate and product marketing to create and capitalize on market demand. Jeff draws on more than 25 years’ experience of spurring customer adoption for pioneering data management companies through targeted product and company positioning and program execution.

Follow Jeff on Twitter at @jsboehm

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