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InformationWeek Analytics New Research Finds Microsoft SQL Server Overtaking Oracle as Primary Database in Use Among Surveyed Business Technology Professionals
Sep 23, 2010 (12:09 PM EDT)

Microsoft is also poised to take the lead in enterprise data mart usage within 18 months

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- InformationWeek Analytics, the leading service for peer-based IT research and analysis, today announced the release of its "Research: 2010 State of Database Technology" report. More than 750 business technology professionals weigh in on their database strategies. Report author Richard Winter is founder and president of WinterCorp, an independent consulting firm that specializes in the performance and scalability of data management systems.

Research Summary:

Our first InformationWeek Analytics State of Database Technology Survey reveals serious fault lines beneath the critically important enterprise database and data warehousing markets. The 755 business technology professionals taking part in our poll express discontent with rising license and upgrade fees as database sizes and workloads spiral ever larger. On the vendor side, a spate of acquisitions and the rise of appliances are creating uncertainty as well.


  • Most respondents, 88%, hail from enterprises where the primary operational database platform is from Microsoft (35%), Oracle (35%) or IBM (18%). While the majority are generally satisfied with features and performance, more than half, 52%, take issue with license fees; 13% of respondents characterize their costs as "highway robbery."
  • A remarkably high percentage of respondents, 27%, are using as a secondary operational database the open source MySQL, which is now owned by Oracle and, more importantly, carries no license fee. In addition, 39% are interested in NoSQL, a term encompassing a group of large, clustered but nonrelational data management systems, often inexpensive or open source. Together these trends suggest we'll see movement toward alternatives to the commercially available relational database platforms that have been the near-universal standard for the past 25 years.
  • The data warehousing market is also in flux. The good news is that 41% of respondents have a single enterprise data warehouse (EDW) or are working toward that goal—the largest percentage pursuing any single strategy in our survey. However, just over 60% are satisfied with the performance and features of their EDW platforms, while a quarter are unhappy with license fees.
  • MySQL is frequently cited as a secondary data warehouse or data mart, and in the analytic databases category, which 48% see as distinct from data warehouses and data marts, a remarkable 22% of respondents are using, experimenting with or investigating the open source platform Hadoop; slightly fewer are looking at related tools, such as BigTable or MapReduce.

"One subject we really dug into for this report is database security, an area often underemphasized," says Lorna Garey, content director of InformationWeek Analytics. "We're worried that respondents are talking a good game here while not always following through. I say this because while 70% say their organizations perform database security assessments to identify weaknesses, only about half of those people were able to name the security assessment products in use. Maybe they're assuming that the CISO is handling this, but the phrase 'trust but verify' comes to mind for me."

InformationWeek Analytics is a subscription-based service, offering peer-based technology research. Its site currently houses more than 900 reports and briefs, and includes a dedicated area where technology professionals can access complete issues of InformationWeek Magazine. More than 100 new reports are slated for release in 2010. InformationWeek Analytics members have access to:

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Art Wittmann

VP & Managing Director InformationWeek Analytics