It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago Hadoopers were running around declaring that data warehouses were dying.

They argued that the proprietary hardware and software they required was too expensive … that the amount and kinds of data that existing data technologies could handle was too limited … and that solutions based on commodity hardware and open source software would rule.

Fast-forward to 2015 and you’ll see that the naysayers were at least partly wrong.

Data Warehouses aren’t going anywhere. Instead they’re being augmented to support new data structures and new data types like XML, text, documents, geospatial and access to externally managed file systems.

In its Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics, Gartner analysts Mark A. Beyer and Roxane Edjlali suggest that enterprises should embrace hybrid technology platforms.

These platforms need to expand beyond the logical data warehouse and leverage multiple repository strategies, whether from multiple vendors or just one.

What Are We Talking About?

A Data Management Solution for Analytics (DMSA) in Gartner’s world consists of “a complete software system that supports and manages data in one or many disparate file management systems (most commonly a database or multiple databases) that can perform relational processing (even if the data is not stored in a relational structure) and support access and data availability from independent analytic tools and interfaces.”

That being said, this year’s Data Warehouse and DMSA MQ Leaders (Teradata, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP and HP) represent the old guards that have turned the corner.

The Challengers, which include Hadoop distro providers Cloudera and MapR, have — for the most part — agreed to play nice with rather than try to eliminate the Leaders.

And the Visionaries — Actian and Pivotal — seem to have it all figured out, except that they still fall short when it comes to execution.


The Leaders


We can’t say it often enough. Teradata users love Teradata. Gartner researchers came to the same conclusion in the MQ. What’s interesting is that Gartner found that there is evidence that Enterprises are “re-engaging with Teradata — with more cost proposals for upgrades and confirmation of Teradata's ability to dominate specific environments and use cases.”

And it’s not just, Teradata has found a way to successfully engage casual users, more advanced business users, data analysts and dozens of data scientists working on the same platform. This makes it a “smart” single choice for the enterprise. In addition, Teradata has buddied up with all enterprise Hadoop distro providers, enabled new analytic workloads to be added to Teradata systems (JSON, geospatial, 3D geospatial and others) and more.


Larry Ellison had (and may still have) it all figured out when it comes to analytics. Oracle owns the largest market share of traditional data warehouses and it also has a Hadoop appliance (as does Teradata), the Oracle Big Data Appliance. And when it comes to loyal customers, Oracle owns them; Gartner found that 70 per cent of Oracle’s customers chose its data warehouse by default.

As is true with most of the MQ Leaders featured, price and total cost of ownership could be improved, especially in today’s market place where companies are willing to implement software/hardware configurations from a mixed group of vendors rather than a stack from just one.


IBM has it covered when it comes to variety. Gartner says that there are stand-alone DBMS solutions, data warehouse appliances and a z/OS solution, and a cloud data warehouse service dashDB (BLU with PureData with Cloudant). Choice is a good thing, unless it creates confusion, which may be what some would-be IBM customers might be experiencing now.

That being said, Gartner found that IBM customers feel that there getting more value for the price than in years past, which is huge among vendors in the Leaders Quadrant.

Learning Opportunities


Microsoft has two Data Warehouse DMSA offerings:SQL Server, a reference architecture, and Microsoft Analytics Platform System (SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse and HDInsight), as well as Azure HDInsight for Hadoop. HDInsight is based on Hortonworks’ Hadoop distro or was built in conjunction with Hortonworks engineers.

Gartner researchers were impressed by Microsoft’s product innovation with SQL server 2014 which supports both in-memory analytical and transactional capabilities (HTAP) as well as through Microsoft Azure Machine Learning. Not only that, but the analyst also indicated that Microsoft is increasing market share and growing faster than the overall market.

There’s also one other factor to consider, says the report, “Customers indicate that common skills, tools and integration with the overall Microsoft stack are hard to resist when considering their DMSA.”


SAP offers both SAP IQ (formerly Sybase IQ), a columnar data store, and SAP Hana, an in-memory column store that supports operational and analytical use cases — also offered as an appliance and reference architecture (TDI).

Like Oracle, SAP does very well with established customers. Not only that, but Hana is super-fast and provides smart data access for federation or in database processing for predictive or spatial analytics.

Some of the improvements that SAP needs to make are within reach. For example, it needs to integrate more easily with other solutions, and clarify issues with its road map and plans for its own applications and business warehouse (SAP BW).


HP makes its way into the Leaders Quadrant via HAVEn, its DMSA comprised of Hadoop, Autonomy and Vertica, by which it is anchored. Gartner says that HP’s customers are wowed by Vertica’s speedy query response and the rate at which its customers reach ROI. It’s also worth noting that Vertica handles not only structured data, but also social media data, image and video data, machine data and document/text analytics.

On the downside though, there’s execution. Gartner says that customers made note of issues with query optimization, workload distribution, system stability and more. By next year improvement is expected.


Two Hadoop distros, MapR and Cloudera, made it into the Challengers Quadrant this year. They are accompanied by 1010data and AWS. It’s impressive that two young, open source big data vendors, Cloudera and MapR, brought in such bright results. Gartner unveiled one common problem for both of them, lack of Hadoop savvy professionals to leverage their capabilities. Both vendors are actively addressing the issue through Cloudera University and MapR’s free on-demand Hadoop training.


The two young visionaries in this year’s MQ are amalgamations. Actian acquired and integrated Vectorwise, ParAccel and Pervasive Software to create complementary components for analytics data management, data integration and embedded analytics. Gartner calls its portfolio “nearly as extensive as those of so-called mega vendors (such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and others), but at a lower price”. Once Actian improves on execution, it should be positioned in the Leaders Quadrant. Not bad for an offering that came to market in 2013.

Pivotal Software is made up of components that once belonged to EMC and VMware, namely Pivotal Labs, Greenplum DB, Pivotal HD, GemFire and GemFire XD. It combines and delivers these various products through its Big Data Suite. While Gartner likes Pivotal’s vision and the capabilities of Greenplum DB, there’s question as to how much traction its Big Data Suite has in the marketplace. That may very well change, sooner rather than later, now that Pivotal has open sourced the components of the suite and is working with other vendors on the Open Data Platform (ODP) initiative.

Look to us for breaking news on this early next week.