Big Data Evolution
The logical data warehouse vision encompasses data repositories, data federation/virtualization technologies and distributed data processes that are beginning to make it possible to access and combine data in different ways without having to work through IT departments or developers. Independent federation leaders include Composite Software and Palantir, according to Beyer. In addition, database management system vendors Teradata, IBM, Oracle and others have introduced external table capabilities -- a form of federation -- that let them access and incorporate data that is outside their databases into analyses. Among these external sources are new platforms including Hadoop clusters and NoSQL databases.
Gartner's latest research, including papers that have not yet been published, shows that 6% to 10% of cutting-edge practitioners (1.5% to 6% of the total market) have implemented combinations of big data, traditional data warehouses and federation technologies.
"The key is putting two or more of these sources through a single entry point, and the leading vendors in the Quadrant and leading [practitioners] have done it," Beyer said.
[ Who are the leaders in big data platforms and analysis? Read Big Data Revolution Will Be Led By Revolutionaries. ]
The payoff is bigger, broader access to data that can support deeper and lower-latency decision-making. The Magic Quadrant report envisions a future in which "big data becomes 'normal' and the logical data warehouse becomes the best practice."
Leaders and Visionaries
Teradata has the highest completeness of vision ranking in Gartner's Magic Quadrant, due to its support for the logical data warehouse vision with its Unified Data Architecture, which combines Teradata, AsterData and Hadoop. Teradata acquired AsterData in 2011 as an analytic platform that supports MapReduce, graph analysis and other forms of analysis against unstructured and multi-structured data, and in 2012 it added deeper support for Hadoop integration.
Oracle's vision is less complete, according to Gartner, but it has the highest "ability to execute" ranking in the latest report, testament to its sales successes in 2012. Many of the companies that are new to data warehousing are choosing Oracle because "they incorrectly perceive that Oracle has a straightforward appliance offering and that Teradata's and IBM's are more sophisticated and, therefore, tougher to understand," Beyer said. Despite that perception, "Exadata is just as sophisticated as the others ... but marketing is different than reality," Beyer said.
In another case of perception versus reality, Beyer noted that SAP's steep rise in both its ability to execute and completeness of vision in the Magic Quadrant is mostly due to Sybase IQ rather than SAP Hana. "Sybase IQ has been tightly tied into the SAP supply chain, and that has improved execution," he said. "And with IQ 15.4, they introduced the capability to create virtual work units in the processor plan separate from the storage plan." That new feature gives IQ greater flexibility to manage workloads and service levels tied to hot and cold data.
Among other vendors showing significant gains in Gartner's latest data warehousing assessment, ParAccel and Kognitio both jumped into the "Visionaries" quadrant. ParAccel recently scored a deal with Amazon to use ParAccel as the underlying database for the Amazon Redshift service. That deal has brought ample funding and the promise of long-term stability. Gartner cited Kognitio strengths including pricing flexibility, performance and logical data warehouse support through new integrations with Hadoop and partnerships with Hortonworks and MetaScale .
It's not yet ranked as a Visionary or Challenger, but Actian rose significantly in Gartner's ranking following a reorganization in 2011. In recent months Actian has pursued acquisitions that will surely bolster its "completeness of vision" in next year's Magic Quadrant.