Traditional Database Management Losing Ground to Cloud

The database management system (DBMS) market's growth is increasingly being driven by cloud services, not by more traditional on-premises systems.

That's the upshot of a new report published this month by Gartner. The research firm found that the DBMS market grew by 18.4 percent from 2017 to 2018 to reach $46.1 billion. However, 68 percent of that growth came on the cloud services side.

It's a trend, according to a Gartner blog post this week that summarized the report. It signifies that DBMS systems installed on servers within organizations will become a "legacy" approach, or a thing of the past.

Large organizations may still use on-premises DBMS solutions, but if they do so, then they'll likely combine it with cloud-based DBMS services in a so-called "hybrid" approach, according to Gartner. Overall, though, Gartner thinks that organizations will be shifting to using cloud services for their DBMS workloads.

Here's how Gartner expressed it in the blog post:

The message in our research is simple -- on-premises is the new legacy. Cloud is the future. All organizations, big and small, will be using the cloud in increasing amounts [for DBMS].

Gartner estimated that 75 percent of the DBMS growth from 2017 to 2018 came from just two vendors, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft. AWS notably just offers DBMS as a service, and doesn't offer a server product. Microsoft, on the other hand, sells a SQL Server product that customers can install on-premises and it also offers Azure Data Services with an Azure SQL Database cloud service. However, Gartner thinks that almost all of Microsoft's DBMS growth during the yearly interval of 2017 to 2018 came from its cloud services side.

Gartner's top DBMS market-share list for 2018 included Oracle at No. 1, followed by Microsoft, AWS, IBM, SAP, Teradata, Cloudera and InterSystems, among others.

The shift toward using cloud-based DBMS services isn't necessarily being driven by IT department choices. It may instead be associated with an organizational shift toward using Software as a Service-based applications, Gartner indicated. Another reason for the shift may be the pay-as-you-go pricing offered by cloud services providers versus the upfront capital expenses of deploying DBMS on-premises.

Innovation is mostly happening on the cloud services DBMS side, Gartner contended, and some of it won't be available for DBMS on-premises. Only organizations that need to maintain legacy application compatibility should stick with DBMS on-premises, it added.

Gartner's report, "The Future of the DBMS Market Is Cloud," was written by analysts Donald FeinbergMerv Adrian and Adam Ronthal.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


  • The 2022 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    Microsoft has a lot in the docket for 2022, including new products like SQL Server 2022, Exchange Subscription Edition and Visual Studio 2022 for Mac.

  • Microsoft Releases Entra Verified ID Service

    Microsoft announced on Monday the "general availability" of Microsoft Entra Verified ID, a new service that promises a more deliberate way for individuals and organizations to share identity information.

  • 2022 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss.

  • Microsoft Muddies Water with Microsoft 365 Services and Office Connection

    Microsoft has gone out of its way to making the Office 2016 and Office 2019 connections to Microsoft 365 services unclear and confusing.