Gartner Predicts Inflection Point For Data Warehousing

Gartner analysts predict growth and consolidation for the data-warehousing market in 2011

Analysts at Gartner are predicting 2011 will be an inflection point for the data-warehousing market.

As data-warehouse platforms evolve, they will embrace analytics and support different information types; the result will be a new era of data warehousing, according to Gartner, which just released a report, titled The State of Data Warehousing in 2011. The prognostication was among the subjects discussed this week at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in Sydney, Australia, and will be addressed in an upcoming summit in Los Angeles in May.

Overwhelming Data Growth

“In 2011, we are seeing data-warehouse platforms evolve from an information store supporting traditional business intelligence platforms to a broader analytics infrastructure supporting operational analytics, corporate performance management and other new applications and uses, such as operational BI and performance management,” Donald Feinberg, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “Organisations are adding workloads with online transaction processing (OLTP) access, and data loading has moved to intra-day – approaching continuous – loading in many cases.”

In the past year, cost control and performance optimisation became critical criteria for evaluating data-warehousing products, according to Gartner. As a result, the market has accepted a higher immediate cost in exchange for lower administrative and management costs over the life of the data warehouse. This has translated to an increase in software licensing as vendors have expanded their offerings and marketed them as easier to implement and manage.

The data warehouse “ideal” is changing, the analysts contend, and will give way to a new kind of warehouse that addresses more extreme types of information assets. As a result, data warehouse DBMS (database-management system) vendors must begin to address numerous, new information-asset formats, or be relegated to supporting roles in the future, according to Gartner.

“Moore’s Law increasing compute or processing capacity, advances in memory capacity and even advances in networks and storage, [as well as] the amount of data in the world, has reached a point that it will continue to overwhelm almost every traditional information-management approach,” Gartner analyst Mark Beyer, a co-author of the report, told eWEEK.

“Approaches such as parallel distributed processing motifs will enable predictable, consistently performing and accurate distributed processing. MapReduce is just the beginning. The data warehouse will become a critical part of this new environment, but so will the platform on which it is deployed in providing for the coordination and delivery of this type of processing,” he said.

Gartner also contends there is an opportunity for data-integration-tool vendors to challenge DBMS vendors as the market shifts from storage and access to delivery and comprehension and makes the context depicted in metadata paramount.

“We believe there is definitely a wider information-management environment which is expanding and may be a composite platform of best-of-breed or something managed by a more central engine; the market has not yet determined what to call it or if the final form will seek a more services-style single-platform approach or a best-of-breed composite form,” Beyer said. “I stated on stage at the Gartner BI Summit in Sydney on February 22 that a  ‘title fight’ was coming and that the data warehouse, DBMS and data-integration vendors were gearing up to fight it out for control of this information-management tier.”