Database Sales Grew in 2005, Say IDC and Gartner
May 30, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
As one of the key components of enterprise computing, the database market has been a key indicator of what kinds of applications customers are building and how well or poorly vendors of different alternatives are doing. While the advent of open source databases has impacted the database market, it doesn’t look like companies have cut down on their spending on closed source databases–at least not yet.
According to market research performed by IDC and Gartner, database sales are still growing at a healthy clip.
IDC only counts relational database management systems, not flat-file systems that are still in use in mainframe shops the world over and for which those shops are paying monthly fees to rent. IDC said that its modeling of worldwide relational database sales for 2005 showed that revenues across all vendors and geographies grew by 9.4 percent to $14.6 billion. Oracle had the largest market share, with 44.6 percent, driven mostly by sales of its eponymous database for Unix, Linux, and Windows platforms. IBM had the number two spot in the relational database market with its DB2 UDB for Windows, Unix, and Linux servers, its DB2/400 database for OS/400 servers, and DB2 for mainframes, garnering a 21.4 percent share of the relational database pie for 2005. Microsoft continues to dog IBM’s heels with its SQL Server database for Windows, with 16.8 percent of the market. Sybase, which is popular among financial services firms on Unix platforms (mainly Solaris), had a 3.5 percent slice, and the database at the heart of NCR‘s Teradata data warehousing platforms accounting for a 2.9 percent slice. Other vendors–including open source challengers that only charge for support, such as MySQL–accounted for 10.8 percent of relational database sales in 2005, according to IDC, which is still around $1.6 billion.
Gartner used to count all kinds of database technologies in its numbers, but has taken to ignoring non-relational database technologies in the reports it makes available to the public. Gartner believes that in 2005, the worldwide relational database market grew by 8.3 percent to hit $13.8 billion in sales. Gartner reckons that Oracle had $6.7 billion in database sales, up 7.8 percent, while IBM had just over $3 billion in sales, up 6.3 percent. Microsoft gained over a point of market share by growing its database sales by 16.6 percent, hitting $2.1 billion in sales in 2005. Gartner believes that NCR had $441 million in sales, up 6.9 percent, and Sybase had $407 million in sales, up 4.1 percent. In Gartner’s models, all other vendors (including the open source crowd) accounted for $1.1 billion in sales, growing at 4.1 percent. Basically, Oracle is growing slightly lower than the market at large, Microsoft is growing twice as fast as the market, and everyone else is moving a little slower than Oracle. MySQL is growing explosively, but it charges so little for its products that it just doesn’t show up as a separate vendor yet. But, with 10 million installations, this vast base is commercializing, ever so slowly.