In this article, I am going to talk about the database landscape trends in 2021 for enterprise DBAs to keep an eye on.
When it comes to the technological advancements in enterprise database management, we can say that we are going through the best and worst times ever. For many of the organizations globally, the worst experiences were related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for many technology companies, this had been the best of times to develop solutions for the time and establish in the market.
In 2021, it is hard to discuss any new things without mentioning the pandemic’s impact, which is very true in the case of the database landscape. From the information technology perspective, the COVID pandemic caused a faster adoption of three major technology trends:
- Adoption of cloud technologies.
- Making scalability imperative, and
The enterprises which were hit the most by the pandemic adversities were those which maintained only on-premises infrastructure. It became very challenging for such organizations to offer remote access to the system admins, developers, and DBAs, as direct access to the enterprise databases beyond the internal firewall was forbidden for them. On the other hand, those who had already adopted cloud infrastructure had a competitive advantage as these security issues were already taken care of. They were able to ensure unconditional and safe database access.
During this time, many other enterprises also experienced a demand reduction and thereby the need to cut costs. Here also, those who already had an elastic cloud infrastructure could reduce their cost by shrinking their database clusters to only the minimum needed and paying just for that to the vendors. There was no option to reduce the running costs with no scope of reduction of own infrastructure for those who had maintained on-premises assets.
On the other hand, some organizations, such as those who were involved in clinical research, etc., had found their workloads have significantly increased. Another example is the online conferencing solution vendors who had to expand their streaming and gaming services due to overwhelming demand. Such companies who had to increase their capacity due to increased business also experienced the same challenge as reducing the infrastructure. Those who were already on the cloud enjoyed quicker and easier scalability, whereas on-premises infrastructure struggled to leverage the times’ competitive advantages.
The tipping point of cloud started to pop up by 2019 and the beginning of 2020 itself, but this slow migration to cloud platforms had taken a sprint from the second part of 2020, which had gained pace further. The concept that a database services vendor can anticipate growth by offering on-premises deployment is also untenable, and the only scope of growth is through the cloud. This is why providers like RemoteDBA.com are increasingly focused on offering foolproof remote database administration services on the cloud.
Market Share Of Various Cloud Vendors
At a macro level, the database vendors’ market share had been increasing over the last many years. The two major generators of cloud database revenue were Oracle and Microsoft. IBM was also there in the top-three slot up until five years ago, but then we saw IBM’s market share started to decline.
From the beginning onwards, Oracle remained one of the leading and most happening database platforms in many deployments and revenue. The company now hopes high on its autonomous database platform and plans to get the upper hand on cloud market share. Being in the second place, Microsoft too is far ahead of the competitors beneath. Like Oracle, Microsoft also has an enviable legacy in the SQL-based relational database sector, but unlike what Oracle had gained, MS’s public cloud enjoys a huge penetration. Within Azure cloud, Microsoft offers SQL Server but different open-source solutions, such as Postgres and MySQL, etc. Microsoft steps into the next-gen native cloud DBs too, with CosmosDB growing largely in acceptance.
With the decrease of IBM’s popularity, Amazon falls into the next place by being a very dominant and promising public cloud service. Within the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud then offer, the relational database services offer various DBMS technologies, including SQL Server, Oracle, and many open-source SQL DBs. Amazon also follows a very profitable business model as they do not have to contribute any R&D towards developing these databases. Amazon features a cloud-native DB platform and DynamoDB, which is highly popular now, but the revenues from it are less than RDS services.
The Popularity Of Different Services
When it comes to technology, revenues may tell a different story than popularity. An overall number of deployments across the globe is also important in considering the acceptance of a particular technology. There are many listings, but nothing with sustaining precision to measure the popularity of the databases. One of the most trustable sources for data popularity assessment is the DB-Engines Rankings, which shows the popularity in descending order as Oracle, MySQL, and SQL as three of the most popular database engines. In contrast, MongoDB and PostgreSQL are fighting neck to neck for the next place.
The OpenStack Developer Survey shows that the most popular choices among databases are open-source technologies, particularly MongoDB, PostgreSQL, etc. ElasticSearch and Redis, even though they cannot be categorized strictly into the definition of a database, are also popular in the listings.
Cloud Technology Maturity
As we discussed above, being already started with this revolution, the future of database technology is on the cloud. In 2019, Gartner estimated that about 75% of the global databases might be deployed on the cloud by 2022, and with the pandemic’s extra push, it seems this figure had already been achieved in 2021. There are no database vendors without a cloud story to offer, but these offerings by various providers are at different levels of maturity. For example, some are still on an on-premises deployment, which runs within a virtual cloud-based machine. Some others offer a scalable database cluster that runs on an elastic cloud infrastructure. In fully managed cloud database solutions, all the database management, monitoring, scaling, and backup is managed automatically by the cloud infrastructure.
In the coming years, we can see more consolidation in cloud services that even the vendors who had been late into implementing fully managed cloud services will push towards the same. Only those companies with well-positioned and fully managed cloud services will be positioned for growth.
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