Database Sales Surge In 2006


The market numbers, released Monday by the Gartner market research firm, also show that Linux is gaining on Unix and Windows as the platform of choice for running databases. And while Oracle remains the industry leader with more than 47 percent of the database market, Microsoft continues to make rapid gains and at its current clip could surpass IBM in the next couple of years.

"It's a data-oriented world and anything related to data is really hot right now," says Gartner analyst Colleen Graham, noting that data integration, data quality and business intelligence software are also in demand. In the early-to-mid 90s some analysts predicted that database software sales would slow to single-digit growth as the technology matured.

Oracle's database sales grew 14.9 percent to nearly $7.2 billion in 2006, giving it 47.1 percent of the total market, according to Gartner. IBM's $3.2 billion in database sales was good enough for second place, but that represented growth of just 8.8 percent from 2005. Database sales on IBM's System i servers declined 9 percent, Graham says, and mainframe database sales grew more slowly than in the past.

Microsoft's SQL Server database, meanwhile, racked up sales of more than $2.6 billion " up 28 percent from 2005. If Microsoft can maintain that rapid growth rate, it's a "distinct possibility" the company could overtake IBM in the database arena, Graham acknowledges. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft together account for more than 85 percent of the total database market with Teradata, Sybase and other vendors splitting the rest.

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Gartner also said the most popular platforms for running database software are Unix and Windows, accounting for 34.8 percent and 34.5 percent of database installations, respectively. But while Linux accounts for only 15.5 percent of database installations, database deployments on Linux grew 67 percent last year.