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Data warehouse platforms are an established part of the enterprise technology stable and a go-to solution for managing data at scale within an organization. But recently, features are emerging that transform data warehouses from serving their more traditional technology role of the past into the modern, flexible, cloud-based big data platforms they are today.
These innovations include advancements to the platforms themselves, as well as improvements that allow them to integrate with a wide ecosystem of external tools. Longstanding breakthroughs include massively parallel processing, columnar storage, and vector processing. More recently, data warehouses have accumulated several advantages that the cloud brings, including scalability derived from separated compute and storage, ease of setup, cost effectiveness, and optimizations for concurrency. Integrations include those with business intelligence (BI) tools, machine learning (ML) tools, security and governance capabilities, and other elements of vendors’ cloud application suites.
As data warehouses are a core component of many data management strategies, choosing one is a weighty decision. This report is intended to inform and assist organizations in that decision-making process, to help them make the best-informed decisions they can about the platform that best suits their needs.
In our Key Criteria Report for Evaluating Data Warehouses we articulated a number of key findings in the sector. They are:
- Data warehouses are widely known and trusted solutions that enterprises have been using for many years to manage and analyze huge amounts of data within their organizations, and they are a core component of an enterprise’s data management strategy.
- The cloud is a major innovation catalyst in the data warehousing category, introducing concepts such as auto-scaling and elasticity, concurrency, freedom from physical appliance, and usage-based pricing. All data warehouse vendors have some cloud option. Some platforms are cloud-native, some are designed to encourage customers to migrate their existing systems to the cloud, and some support a hybrid approach that includes both cloud and on-premises or implementations across multiple public clouds. Most of the category’s future focus and new development is now in the cloud, and we think this trend is irreversible.
- Vendors are developing and including more sophisticated built-in and integrated machine learning, business intelligence and analysis functions, and other tools. Vendors, including cloud providers, are also integrating their data warehouse products with other elements of their enterprise suites to create overarching unified data platforms. We expect this integration to continue as vendors work to remain competitive.
- Integration with data lakes for in-place querying of structured and unstructured data is becoming more widespread.
- Some vendors are including features that make their platforms more appealing and usable by business users, including semantic business layers and role-based user experiences, another trend we expect will continue.
This GigaOm Radar Report for Data Warehouses expands on the decision-making framework presented in the Key Criteria report to provide a detailed assessment of vendor solutions and how they can impact an organization.
How to Read this Report
This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.