January 7, 2011

Database Trends Survey (by Embarcadero)

Embarcadero did a survey of database administrators of large companies, that was released last month and is worth a look.

Embarcadero did a survey of database administrators (DBAs) of large companies, that was released last month and it worth a look. The survey announcement at http://www.embarcadero.com/press-releases/cloud-computing-to-have-the-greatest-impact-on-database-industry-according-to-study and its title reflects a key marketing element of the survey more than the focus of the survey itself (still, the title is indeed attracting the media like http://www.devx.com/architect/Article/46212/1763). The full survey is a PDF you can get at http://www.embarcadero.com/reports/database-trends-survey, again quite an interesting read also for a developer, maybe one building client/server applications.

While most of the questions are on the choice and number of servers used (MS SQL Server being the most widely adopted, Oracle the most critical, and Firebird has a significant 4% presence for large companies). Other questions are tuned for Embarcadero products (like evaluating the need for automating some DBA tasks). A few questions are interesting for their broad perspective, like those focused on the relationship between developers and DBAs.

However, I want to get back to the only question on "future technologies", the one that took the headlines:

What I don't fully understand is that there is a lot of consideration for "Databases in the cloud" (and that does make sense) and very little for the "noSQL" movement (which is a partial contradiction). In a very significant number of cases, the databases in the cloud are actually based on NoSQL (this is true for Amazon and Azure, among others, although both offer both relational and NoSQL alternatives). This is also due to optimization and architectural reasons. Seems quite a few people who responded have heard about these technologies, but have a limited understanding. Maybe a good topic for writing...

PS. This reminds me I have a half-written article (by me and Paolo Rossi) on programming NoSQL databases from Delphi I should probably try to finish.



Database Trends Survey by Embarcadero 

 Seems that correct number for Firebird is 5.5, not 4% ;)
Comment by Carlos [http://www.firebirdnews.org] on January 8, 01:45

Database Trends Survey by Embarcadero 

Did you consider that the interest in the "Cloud" and 
the lack of interest in noSQL is not a contradiction 
at all, but a useful insight into what people 
want/expect/need from "The Cloud" ?

For many people, what they think of as "Cloud" 
computing is directly comparable with (in many 
instances, just "IS") good old fashioned "hosted" or 
facilities managed computing resource.

"The Cloud" is so vaguely and arbitrarily defined by 
anybody and everybody participating in the space that 
asking anyone about it without clarifying and 
qualifying precisely what you, the questioner, mean by 
it, is pretty pointless as they don't know what you 
are truly asking about and you don't know what they 
are really replying about.
Comment by Jolyon Smith [http://www.deltics.co.nz/blog] on January 8, 02:47

Database Trends Survey by Embarcadero 

What surprises me given the wording of the question is 
rather the high position of virtualization and SSDs, 
given those are IME not "upcoming" tech, but current 
techs, and at least for virtualization, has been 
mainstream for quite some time already in the 
entreprise world.

I'm not too surprised by the low ranking of noSQL or 
Hadoop, they address problems that relatively few DBAs 
will encounter, because IME most databases don't grow 
anywhere near as fast as RAM, HDD space or CPU 
performance. F.i. most databases that could risk 
filling up an HDD a decade ago can now fit in RAM...

YMMV, but cloud tech we look forward to it more to cut 
down on infrastructure cost, backups/failsafes and 
broader/easier accessibility (ie. a form of "hosted" 
on steroids, as Jolyon said), than to get multi-
terabyte high-performance distributed query support.
Comment by Eric [http://delphitools.info/] on January 8, 17:45

Database Trends Survey by Embarcadero 

There's a difference between what the question looks 
to have asked ("What upcoming tehcnology do you think 
will have the greatest impact on the **database 
community at large**"), and how the paper interprets 
it ("which upcoming technology will have the greatest 
impact **on the database industry**").
That's what happens when you give data to a marketing 
guy, but if you ask me what challenges the DBA 
community is going to face in the near future, yes, 
there will be CEO/CIO/CTO asking for "clouds" 
(whatever they mean) and for virtualization. How much 
they will impact the database industry is yet to be 
seen, especially in large companies where data are 
large and often very sensitive. And where you already 
have issues if your databases have a dedicated 
server, if not an n-node cluster. AFAIK, Oracle 
didn't jump on the "cloudy wagon" yet. But AFAIK 
Embarcadero has some cloudy software to sell...
BTW: is SOX doesn't let you tell your customer about 
roadmaps, what about putting your whole data in 
the "cloud"? Who certifies data are kept secure? <G>
Comment by Luigi D. Sandon on January 8, 18:38

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