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Cloud Services Starting To Overtake On-Prem Database Management Systems

Database management system (DBMS) growth is happening more on the cloud services side than on the traditional "on-premises" side, according to a report published this month by Gartner Inc.

Overall, the DBMS market grew 18.4 percent from 2017 to 2018 to reach $46.1 billion, according to the research and analyst firm. However, 68 percent of that growth came on the cloud services side. It's a trend, according to Gartner. It signifies that DBMS systems installed on servers within organizations will become a "legacy" approach, or a thing of the past, according to a Gartner blog post this week that summarized the report.

Large organizations may still use on-premises DBMS solutions, but if they do so, then they'll likely combine it with cloud-based DBMS services in a so-called "hybrid" approach, according to Gartner. Overall, though, Gartner thinks that organizations will be shifting to using cloud services for their DBMS workloads.

Here's how Gartner expressed it in the blog post:

The message in our research is simple -- on-premises is the new legacy. Cloud is the future. All organizations, big and small, will be using the cloud in increasing amounts [for DBMS].

Gartner estimated that 75 percent of the DBMS growth from 2017 to 2018 came from just two vendors, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft. AWS notably just offers DBMS as a service, and doesn't offer a server product. Microsoft, on the other hand, sells a SQL Server product that customers can install on-premises and it also offers Azure Data Services with an Azure SQL Database cloud service. However, Gartner thinks that almost all of Microsoft's DBMS growth during the yearly interval of 2017 to 2018 came from its cloud services side.

Gartner's top DBMS market-share list for 2018 included Oracle at No. 1, followed by Microsoft, AWS, IBM, SAP, Teradata, Cloudera and InterSystems, among others.

The shift toward using cloud-based DBMS services isn't necessarily being driven by IT department choices. It may instead be associated with an organizational shift toward using Software as a Service-based applications, Gartner indicated. Another reason for the shift may be the pay-as-you-go pricing offered by cloud services providers versus the upfront capital expenses of deploying DBMS on-premises.

Innovation is mostly happening on the cloud services DBMS side, Gartner contended, and some of it won't be available for DBMS on-premises. Only organizations that need to maintain legacy application compatibility should stick with DBMS on-premises, it added.

Gartner's report, "The Future of the DBMS Market Is Cloud," was written by analysts Donald FeinbergMerv Adrian and Adam Ronthal.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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