As one of the three core pillars in Idera, Inc.’s portfolio that also includes Testing Tools and Developer Tools, our Database Tools business had a big year in 2017. In July, we announced the acquisition AquaFold, significantly expanding our multi-platform support to meet the needs of nearly all database professionals. Additionally, our flagship SQL Server management product, SQL Diagnostic Manager, scored an NPS score of +42 in a recent third-party study, further validating how our users depend on it for their critical business needs.
In terms of broader industry trends in 2017, we saw an incredible increase in the amount of data being thrust upon enterprises by technology shifts in machine learning, artificial intelligence and consumers’ desire to conduct all business online. This has caused database teams to relearn their trade, forcing them to integrate cloud and big data technologies into their existing landscape at a dizzying pace.
During 2017, database teams realized they were missing out on many new application deployments unless they started embracing the cloud. So they went from resisting the change to fueling the change. In 2018, database teams will devour knowledge and experience with the cloud, supporting business demands to move applications to the cloud and gaining new relevance in cloud-first applications.
Microsoft led the charge by evolving from a mostly proprietary company to one that embraces open source and competing operating systems. By offering SQL Server on Linux and building Mac and Linux clients for popular data tools, Microsoft is showing its commitment to meet users wherever they are. They also revised their licensing approach to provide more choices for companies by offering additional enterprise features with every edition of SQL Server. Moves such as these will continue to fuel market share gains for Microsoft in 2018.
Another major development will be that the line between RAM and disk will disappear once and for all. Databases have always had an I/O Achilles heel — first SSDs, then PCI express, then NVMe — but the advent of persistent memory will give us dynamic random access to solid state memory and usher in the end of the disk era.
In 2018, databases will no longer be impractical in container architectures. Ready availability of enterprise quality database platforms on containers and microservices — previously the realm of NoSQL or other homegrown systems — will exponentially extend the applications for enterprise relational database platforms. This will bring enterprise technology to the level where it can truly fuel DevOps for the database, and speed the adoption and development of applications in the cloud.
As the lines between database development and database administration continue to blur, new lines will be drawn between depth and breadth. DBAs will need a broader understanding of many different database platforms, while their developer counterparts will have a deep understanding of only a few.
DBAs will also see AI and machine learning applied to database management and optimization, taking self-healing and self-tuning to the next level. These solutions, from both database and third-party vendors, will allow DBAs used to spending time searching for bottlenecks to do more productive and creative work instead.
Machine learning and other data-centric trends will only accelerate the speed with which DBAs embrace more strategic business responsibilities. 2018 will bring a shift to more big data expertise as myriad applications for enterprise data grow exponentially. As long as DBAs remain flexible and embrace this changing dynamic, they’ll come out of 2018 stronger and more valuable to their organizations than ever.
Finally, security and data governance will be front and center in the database world in 2018. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is going to have a huge impact on US companies of all sizes, especially those who have EU citizens as customers, necessitating the implementation of more compliance and data/business modeling tools.
No matter how they are accessed or managed, databases in 2018 will be more important than ever. I’m excited be part of Idera’s Database Tools group as we enter this next stage of market evolution.