What Comes Next in the Red-Hot Analytics Market?

October 26, 2010 Off By Hoofer
Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: Derrick Harris.

The action in the data warehouse/analytic database space has been hot and heavy over the past couple weeks, with new funding, acquisitions and partnerships announced seemingly every day. I don’t think it will slow down any time soon. In fact, as I detail in my weekly column at GigaOM Pro, I predict a few more big acquisitions coming down the pike.

In the past week alone: IBM bought Netezza; Cloudera partnered first with Teradata, then with EMC Greenplum; NetApp and ParAccel announced a partnership; Aster Data Systems announced another $30 million in funding; and Oracle rolled out its latest and greatest Exadata system. Add to this EMC’s purchase of Greenplum in July and SAP’s purchase of Sybase in May, and you see a market in perpetual motion.

From my perspective, remaining acquisition targets are Aster Data, ParAccel, Teradata and Vertica, but they might have precious little say in who comes courting. It’s a little easier to predict who might be doing the shopping: Dell and HP are the obvious candidates, as they need data stories to tell, lest they risk letting IBM and Oracle run away with the market for vertically integrated systems. Less likely buyers might be Oracle, which is always looking to expand its database empire; Microsoft, which remains a database leader despite being focused elsewhere right now; and Cisco, which could use some key software  enterprise software assets to stave off competition for its newly launched server business.

Of course, data warehousing is just a fraction of the burgeoning Big Data market, albeit the most-proven segment in terms of customer adoption and knowledge. Hadoop is gaining popularity for storing and analyzing unstructured data — and is increasingly integrated with existing data warehousing and BI tools — so commercial Hadoop startups could get hot. I think partner-friendly Cloudera will be the first to get bought, but Datameer could be a target because of its spreadsheet-based, Hadoop-powered analytics solution.

The bottom line is that data of all types is piling up; customers want to not only manage it, but to derive as much insight as possible from it. Vendors like IBM and Oracle have known this for years; now the rest of the IT space is catching on. If you’re into watching markets evolve and making predictions as to who’ll end up where, this is a great space to follow.