The Coolest Database System Companies Of The 2021 Big Data 100

Part 4 of CRN’s Big Data 100 includes a look at the vendors solution providers should know in the big data database system space.

Top Management

The total volume of data created or replicated globally reached 64.2 zetabytes in 2020, according to market researcher IDC, and will continue to explode at a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent through 2025.

Statistics like those make database administrators, who have to manage, organize and process all that data, shudder. To make productive use of ever-growing volumes of data, businesses and organizations need the right database technology to manage massive volumes of data and make it available for transactional and analytical applications.

As part of the 2021 Big Data 100, CRN has compiled a list of database system companies that solution providers should be aware of. They include more established vendors such as Redis Labs, MongoDB and MariaDB, but also many startups such as Cockroach Labs, PlanetScale and Rockset.

This week CRN is running the Big Data 100 list in slide shows, organized by technology category, with vendors of business analytics software, database systems, data management and integration software, data science and machine learning tools, and big data systems and platforms.

(Some vendors market big data products that span multiple technology categories. They appear in the slideshow for the technology segment in which they are most prominent.)

Cockroach Labs

Top Executive: CEO Spencer Kimball

Cockroach Labs, founded in 2015, develops CockroachDB, a cloud-native, distributed SQL database that’s designed to handle workloads with huge volumes of transactional data. The company’s motto of “scale fast, survive anything, thrive anywhere” (hence the Cockroach name) stems from the database’s elasticity, failure-resistant architecture and multi-cloud flexibility.

Cockroach Labs said it more than doubled its revenue and its customer roster in 2020. More than half of its customers are running their critical applications on CockroachCloud, a fully managed cloud instance of CockroachDB that became generally available on AWS and the Google Cloud Platform last year.

In January the New York-based company raised $160 million in Series E funding, bringing its total funding to $355 million and putting its market cap at $2 billion.


Top Executive: President, CEO Matt Cain

Couchbase Server is a multipurpose, high-performance NoSQL database that combines a memory-first, globally replicating cluster architecture with key value stores and a SQL-compatible query language.

Couchbase launched its Couchbase Cloud fully managed Database as a Service in June 2020, initially running on the AWS platform and, in January 2021, Microsoft Azure.

Based in Santa Clara, Calif., Couchbase completed a $105 million Series G funding round in May 2020.


Top Executive: CEO Chet Kapoor

DataStax markets DataStax Enterprise, a distributed NoSQL database built on the Apache Cassandra open-source database that’s designed to handle huge volumes of data.

The company also offers Luna, a series of support services for Cassandra, and an event streaming cloud service based on the Apache Pulsar technology.

In May 2020 the company debuted DataStax Astra, a multi-cloud Database-as-a-Service edition of its database with a focus on simplifying the development of cloud-native Cassandra applications. Astra runs on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platforms.


Top Executive: President, CEO Ed Boyajian

EDB offers the EDB Postgres Advanced Server, an enterprise-scale database based on the open-source PostgreSQL database. EDB’s software is compatible with Oracle’s flagship database product and EDB markets its database as a lower-cost alternative.

The company, based in Bedford, Mass., also provides a series of related products including Postgres Enterprise Manager and automated backup/recovery, replication and cluster management services for PostgresSQL.

In September EDB acquired 2ndQuadrant, a U.K. provider of PostgreSQL solutions and tools.


Top Executive: CEO Aaron Auld

Exasol offers an in-memory, column-oriented relational database system that’s specifically designed for high-performance data analysis tasks. The database can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or in hybrid cloud environments, uses a shared-nothing MPP (massively parallel processing) architecture, and supports the building and running of data science models directly in the database.

With headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, Exasol has U.S. offices in Atlanta.


Top Executive: Co-Founders, Co-CEOs Flip Filipowski and Brian Platz

Fluree develops its Web3 Data Platform, based on semantic graph database and blockchain technology, providing data-centric security and data integrity and facilitating secure data sharing. (Graph databases store data and information about data relationships.)

In September Fluree, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., wrapped up the company’s $6.5 million seed funding round. Earlier in the year the company launched the Fluree Partner Network, the startup’s first formal channel partner program.


Top Executive: CEO Evan Kaplan

InfluxData develops InfluxDB, a time series database that provides rapid, high-availability storage and retrieval capabilities to handle massive volumes of time-stamped data generated by sensors, IoT devices, applications and infrastructure monitoring systems.

InfluxDB Cloud, a Database-as-a-Service edition of the software, is also available on all major cloud platforms.

InfluxData is based in San Francisco.


Top Executive: CEO Tom Addis

Kinetica develops the Kinetica Streaming Data Warehouse that combines historical and streaming data for rapid data analysis. The system can ingest, analyze and visualize massive datasets with trillions of rows of data.

At the core of the system is a memory-first, GPU-accelerated database system that allows the company’s data warehouse platform to unify multiple analytical techniques including relational, geospatial, graph, time series and text search.

In February San Francisco-based Kinetica said the U.S. Air Force had awarded the company a five-year contract with a $100 million ceiling to deliver a streaming data warehouse for the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Pathfinder program


Top Executive: CEO Michael Howard

MariaDB offers the popular community developed, commercially supported MariaDB relational database that’s used for both transactional computing and analytical tasks.

MariaDB, based in Redwood City, Calif., was founded in 2009 by the original developers of the popular MySQL database (which is now owned by Oracle) and MariaDB was originally built on the MySQL code base.

In early 2020 the company launched MariaDB SkySQL, a fully managed cloud Database as a Service that also supports transactional and analytical applications. SkySQL uses Kubernetes for container orchestration; the ServiceNow workflow engine for inventory, configuration and workflow management; the Prometheus free software for real-time monitoring and alerting; and the Grafana open-source analytics and visualization application for data visualization.


Top Executive: President, CEO Dev Ittycheria

MongoDB is a next-generation database developer that has been gaining ground against established database vendors with its MongoDB document-oriented NoSQL database and its MongoDB Atlas fully managed Database as a Service that launched in 2016.

In August 2020 MongoDB debuted new search, data lake and mobile database software that gives solution providers and ISVs more opportunities to develop applications and solutions that leverage data wherever it resides.

In February MongoDB and Google Cloud expanded their go-to-market alliance with a five-year agreement to more deeply integrate Google Cloud products with MongoDB Atlas.


Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Emil Eifrem

Neo4j develops the Neo4j graph database, an ACID-compliant transactional database with native graph processing and storage capabilities. In January the company began offering Neo4j Aura Enterprise, a fully managed graph database cloud service.

Neo4j is based in San Mateo, Calif.


Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Jiten Vaidya

PlanetScale has developed a next-generation database system based on the Vitess open-source database technology for deploying and managing large clusters of database instances. The database uses “sharding,” a technique for scaling a database by spreading data tables across multiple database instances.

In March the Mountain View, Calif.-based company debuted PlanetScaleDB Cloud, a fully managed, multi-cloud, multi-region Database as a Service running on AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. The startup also provides PlanetScaleDB Enterprise for customers that want to run their own Database as a Service. In June 2020 the company launched PlanetScaleDB for Kubernetes, which deploys databases directly into a Kubernetes cluster.

Founded in 2018, the company has raised $25 million in funding, including $22 million in May 2019.

Redis Labs

Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Ofer Bengal

Redis develops Redis Enterprise, a high-performance, real-time NoSQL database that has become one of the most popular next-generation databases that compete with mainstream database software such as the Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server.

The company also offers Redis Enterprise Cloud, a fully managed Database as a Service that runs on AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platforms.

Redis Labs recently expanded its alliances with AWS and Google. Earlier this month the company announced a $110 million late-stage round of funding.


Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Venkat Venkataramani

Rockset offers a real-time indexing database in the cloud for developing real-time search and data analytics applications. The database works with structured, unstructured, geographical and time-series data—pulled from OLTP databases, streaming data and data lakes—to process sub-second queries at massive scale.

Founded in 2016 and based in San Mateo, Calif., Rockset scored a $40 million Series B round of funding in October 2020, bringing its total funding to $61.5 million.


Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Dor Laor

ScyllaDB is a NoSQL real-time database that competes with the Apache Cassandra and AWS DynamoDB databases. ScyllaDB’s claim to fame is speed, low latency and high throughput with its ability to rapidly process huge volumes of data.

ScyllaDB offers an open-source edition of its database, a commercial enterprise edition with premium features and extended support, and a cloud Database-as-a-Service edition.

In January ScyllaDB, based in Palo Alto, Calif., unveiled Project Circe, a 12-month initiative to bring greater consistency, improved elasticity and ease of use to its database with plans to release a new feature or upgrade to an existing capability each month.


Top Executive: CEO Raj Verma

SingleStore develops a distributed, SQL relational database management system that the company said can handle operational and real-time analytical workloads. Like other next-generation database developers, SingleStore is pitching itself as a replacement for mainstream databases from Oracle and other vendors.

SingleStore (founded in 2011 as MemSQL) raised $80 million in Series E financing in December, bringing its total funding to $238 million.

At the same time the San Francisco-based company struck a strategic alliance with data analytics software giant SAS under which the massively parallel analytics engine in the SAS Viya artificial intelligence and analytics platform is integrated with the SingleStore database.

Splice Machine

Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Monte Zweben

Splice Machine develops a scale-out SQL database that incorporates a combination of distributed SQL, machine learning and Kubernetes engines, making it capable of handling transactional OLTP, analytical OLAP and machine learning tasks in one platform.

Splice Machine has been emphasizing the use of its database for AI and machine learning tasks: In March the company debuted Version 3.1 of the database with new features and functionality to support real-time AI projects, Spark 3.0 support for its database engine and increased data transparency to create machine learning models.

In November Splice Machine, based in San Francisco, introduced its Livewire operational AI and machine learning platform.

SQream Technologies

Top Executive: Co-Founder, CEO Ami Gal

SQream’s Data Acceleration Platform is designed to perform data analysis tasks against massive volumes of data. The SQream relational database at the system’s core utilizes high-performance GPU processors to handle ingestion of terabytes— even petabytes—of data and rapidly process complex SQL queries.

In 2020 SQream, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, raised $39.4 million in Series B+ funding.


Top Executive: CEO Yu Xu

TigerGraph develops its distributed, scalable TigerGraphDB graph database for enterprise applications, particularly for operational analytical tasks such as fraud detection. Graph databases are particularly effective for applications where the relationships between the data is as important as the data itself, such as social networking, fraud detection and recommendation engines.

TigerGraph began offering its TigerGraph Cloud Database as a Service in September 2019 and just last week announced support for the Google Cloud Platform.

The company, based in Redwood City, Calif., raised $105 million in Series C funding in February, bringing its total funding to more than $170 million.


Top Executive: Co-Founder and CEO Ajay Kulkarni

Timescale offers TimescaleDB, a time-series relational database based on the open-source PostgreSQL database. TimescaleDB is specifically developed for ingesting, managing and analyzing time-series or time-stamped data—examples include data from financial trading systems and Internet of Things sensors.

In February TimescaleDB 2.0, a distributed, multi-node, petabyte-scale edition of its database system, became generally available. The new product also offers significant improvements to its continuous aggregates functionality and provides a new user-defined actions feature.

Timescale, based in New York, began offering a fully managed, multi-cloud edition of its database in June 2019.