Oracle’s is in Big Trouble : Big Data is to Blame

In Wikibon’s March newsletter, analyst Jeff Kelly takes a look at the factors that have transformed the database market  into a fiercely competitive ecosystem where small startups are standing up to legacy vendors – and winning.

It wasn’t always like this.

Up until recently, Larry Ellison’s Oracle dominated the database market with an appliance-led business model that was (and still is) meant to lock the customer in. This status quo reigned for decades up until mobile became a trend, and enterprises started waking up to the fact that relational databases cannot address today’s new set of business requirements.

Kelly describes this phenomenon, dubbed by some as the Big Data explosion, as a “trend towards scale-out platforms and non-relational databases that use commodity hardware and open source software supported by some level of proprietary components.”  The heart of this movement is Hadoop, the open-source data crunching platform that is being distributed commercially by half a dozen startups.

Hadoop is a driving force behind the Big Data trend, but it’s only one contributing factor in the disruption of the traditional database market. NoSQL solutions such as MongoDB, Cassandra and Accumulo are also being rapidly adopted by the enterprise, and across all segments.

“The economics don’t look great for Oracle. According to analysis by Wikibon’s David Floyer (and highlighted in the Wall Street Journal), the NoSQL database market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 60% between 2011 and 2017. The SQL slice of the Big Data market, in contrast, will grow at just a 26% CAGR during that same time period.

Changes are certainly afoot in the database market. If you were to ask someone today to describe the database market, you’d hear response like “exciting,” “innovative,” and “NoSQL.” A lot can change in just 10 years.