GigaOm Radar Report: How enterprise companies compare cloud databases

Last edited on October 15, 2020

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    There’s a new paradigm in the database industry: Databases-as-a-Service. With their inherent advantages in elasticity, cost of ownership, and provisioning flexibility, the Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) model is quickly becoming the easy choice for small companies and startups. But in enterprise environments, navigating a paradigm shift like this is a different story.

    In enterprise environments, it may be imprudent to break completely from the on-premises past and present. As is always the case, diligent enterprise organizations must survey the market and take a holistic approach that deals with their data needs in totality.

    The question becomes: are enterprises adopting the DBaaS model? And which DBaaS vendors best suit enterprise workloads? These are the questions independent research firm GigaOm set out to answer in the GigaOm Radar Report for Cloud Databases. The report analyzes both how enterprise companies are approaching the DBaaS market, along with a detailed breakdown of top players, including Cockroach Cloud, MongoDB Atlas, Couchbase, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Aurora, and Google Cloud Spanner.

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    GigaOm’s Methodology: Evaluating Enterprise DBaaS ReadinessCopy Icon

    In order to produce a thorough analysis, GigaOm first identified the key criteria enterprise companies are using to compare DBaaS platforms, and then metrics by which to evaluate these criteria. Per their findings, the DBaaS characteristics producing the most excitement among enterprise companies include:

    GigaOm narrowed these characteristics down into the top three main criteria enterprises should use to evaluate different DBaaS platforms:

    1. Support for Relational Model: Does the database speak SQL? Copy Icon

    This criteria gauges support for the traditional relational database model and the SQL language, either through native support for relational tables or as SQL-like layers placed on top of other database models for language compatibility.

    2. Multi-Model Support: Does the database support more than one data model?Copy Icon

    This refers to database platforms that have native support for multiple database models. This typically means two or more of the following: the document model, the key-value model, the graph database model, the geo-spatial model, and the column-family/wide-column store model.

    3. Managed Services Automation Offerings: How Easy is it to Use?Copy Icon

    This criteria addresses capabilities like auto-provisioning, autoscaling, auto-healing, geo-replication, and serverless operations. Taken together, these qualities streamline platform operations, and ease headaches for DBAs. A strong DBaaS offering should handle many of these common operations automatically.

    DBaaS Enterprise-Readiness Analysis: GigaOm’s Findings Copy Icon

    GigaOm’s report offers thorough analysis of Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, Cockroach Cloud, Couchbase, DataStax, Google Cloud Spanner, Google Cloud BigTable, Microsoft Azure CosmosDB, Microsoft Azure SQL HyperScale, and MongoDB Atlas.

    The below chart indicates how different vendors perform across key criteria and evaluation metrics:


    The full report offers in-depth analyses of each vendor built on the key criteria report, reports to assess a company's engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes strengths and weaknesses of each platform, and forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

    GigaOm's findings also include their signature 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, and indicates GigaOm’s predictions for how each product will fare in the years to come.

    GigaOm’s Summary: DBaaS is on the Rise Copy Icon

    Key takeaways from GigaOm’s DBaas analysis include:

    • Many organizations are already using the platforms extensively and usage is accelerating.

    • Building on cloud-native architectures enables significant flexibility in deployment of the platforms across public and private clouds as well as on-premises.

    • The platforms enable key scenarios around elasticity, performance, data distribution, automation, and data replication that are very difficult to get right in an on-premises environment. This is due to the underlying cloud architecture and is expected to lead to even more capabilities down the line.

    • SQL continues to be the dominant querying language in most cases; however, extensive support for both multi-model databases and the NoSQL model is widely observed.

    The trends we see in the market are very clear. Cloud-native database platforms are the natural evolution of the battle-tested, on-premises workhorse databases of the past, and we expect their inherent architectural and operational advantages to continue to attract vast interest.

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    About GigaOm Copy Icon

    GigaOm is an unbiased third party firm providing technical, operational, and business advice for IT’s strategic digital enterprise and business initiatives. GigaOm’s vendor-neutral advice empowers enterprises to successfully compete in an increasingly complicated business atmosphere that requires a solid understanding of constantly changing customer demands.

    GigaOm authors Yiannis Antoniou and Andrew Brust GigaOm work directly with enterprises both inside and outside of the IT organization to apply proven research and methodologies designed to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks while balancing risk and innovation. Research methodologies include but are not limited to adoption and benchmarking surveys, use cases, interviews, ROI/TCO, market landscapes, strategic trends, and technical benchmarks. Analysts possess 20+ years of experience advising a spectrum of clients from early adopters to mainstream enterprises. GigaOm’s perspective is that of the unbiased enterprise practitioner. Through this perspective, GigaOm connects with engaged and loyal subscribers on a deep and meaningful level.