The State of the Open Source Database Industry in 2020: Part One

state of open source part one A four-part blog series by Matt Yonkovit, Percona Chief Experience Officer. Read Matt’s other blogs in this series – “Migrating from Proprietary Software to Open Source“,  “The Most Popular Open Source Databases 2020‘, and “When is Open Source Not Really Open?

Baseline Data and the Size of the Market

Over the last few years, we have seen some drastic changes in both the database and the open source industry. We have seen the proliferation of open source databases, we have seen the impact of the cloud, and we have seen massive growth in adoption and usage as companies turn away from proprietary software in an effort to find something better.

So where do we stand now and where are we headed? What are the trends? Which databases are growing and which are not?

Before we start, I wanted to comment on Percona’s position in this debate.

Percona offers software, support, and services for open source databases. We have our own offerings for MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB. While our own software is important to us, we have spent the last 13 years building our reputation on ensuring that businesses can successfully use open source software, even if it’s not ours. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure users and customers choose the best open source database software to meet their needs and goals. Sometimes that’s our software, sometimes it’s not.

We are proud of our reputation and our willingness to help find the most scalable, performant, and efficient solutions for our customers.

The Database Market as a Whole

Gartner published data last year which pegged worldwide database management system revenue at around $46 billion, with about 18% overall year-on-year growth. Cloud systems accounted for a huge 68% of that growth. Our own open source survey backed-up this growth in cloud adoption.

However, many of the analysts and press I talk with disagree on how fast this segment is growing. I believe this partly comes from a disconnect in how analysts define a “cloud database.”

Some people use “cloud database” to refer to any database running on a cloud service, some only refer to those running in a cloud providers’ database as a service (DBaaS). Either way, this growth is a game-changing trend.

Despite this, not everything will move exclusively to the cloud in the next five, or even ten, years. Even the most aggressive cloud models show hold-outs.

In fact, if you model industry growth, even if 20% of future databases are on-premises versus 80% in the cloud in five years (which is an aggressive figure in my view), that still leaves a $25 billion database industry either on-premises or running ‘on the edge’. This is a huge amount.

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Environments

An interesting development is that we are not seeing companies moving exclusively towards one provider. Instead, many are ending up in hybrid environments and multi-clouds. Our own survey data showed that 61% of enterprises already have hybrid environments.

percona state of open source

Many companies are deploying a business strategy that calls for portability, ensuring they can run in different environments. In fact, analysts and researchers have started to view this run anywhere/run everywhere requirement as a must for future application design.

Open Source Database Market Growth

When we look specifically at the open source database space it is harder to find published research on the subject of growth (other than “a lot!”) Gartner published some insight on the market as a whole, but it did not talk specifically about size and growth.

Many open source database companies are not public and cloud providers, and companies such as Oracle, do not break out their specific revenue in relation to open source databases.

From talking with different companies, cloud providers, analysts, etc, and looking at available market data, the best estimate I can give is that this segment is in the range of $7-8 billion per year. This includes spending on open source software databases from cloud providers.

Open source growth rates also appear to be much higher than the industry average, seemingly around 45-50% overall. Some vendors are seeing even faster growth. MongoDB reported that in FQ3 their Atlas database-as-a-service accounted for 40% of their total revenue (up from 21% in the previous year). Atlas revenue in the latest quarter grew by more than 185%.

The database space is a big market and getting bigger. Cloud and open source databases are growing even faster than the industry average.

A four-part blog series by Matt Yonkovit, Percona Chief Experience Officer. Read Matt’s other blogs in this series – “Migrating from Proprietary Software to Open Source“,  “The Most Popular Open Source Databases 2020‘, and “When is Open Source Not Really Open?

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