SAP continues its in-memory database technology push with its plans to acquire Sybase.
SAP's $5.8 billion deal to acquire Sybase
shows the company is doubling down on in-memory database technologies.
The Sybase acquisition continues SAP's
push for in-memory database solutions, the use of which Forrester Research
predicts will grow in the next four years to the point where roughly a third of
enterprises will be using in-memory databases to support mission-critical
"SAP has the in-memory [and] caching
at the application [and] middleware tier, while Sybase recently made available
their database in-memory solution," Forrester Research analyst Noel
Yuhanna said. "In-memory matters...because often there is latency involved
in data access, especially tied to disk I/O that causes slower response times. ...
Having the data in cache [or] in memory can dramatically improve performance by
10 times, even 50 times, so we definitely see more enterprises looking for such
SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner discussed
the company's interest in in-memory technology here in a video
interview with himself.
SAP has already
delivered columnar in-memory database technology to market via its Business
Warehouse Accelerator hardware-based acceleration engine, while Sybase has also
delivered in-memory database technology for its ASE
(Adaptive Server Enterprise) database with the release of Version 15.5 earlier
this year, noted Matt Aslett, an analyst with The 451 Group.
With Sybase on board, SAP
"effectively delivered" on Plattner's vision of in-memory databases
for analytical and transaction processing-albeit with two different products, Aslett
"At this stage it appears that SAP's
in-memory functionality will quickly be applied to the IQ analytic database
while ASE will retain its own in-memory
database features," he explained. "Over time, we expect R&D to
focus on delivering column-based in-memory database technology for both
operational and analytic workloads."
If the companies strike the right notes with integration, the deal with
Sybase has the potential to put pressure on the industry's major database
vendors, Yuhanna said. But that doesn't mean SAP
will be able to turn the database market completely on its side in terms of
"The Sybase acquisition definitely puts some pressure on Oracle and
Microsoft SQL Server, but the impact will not be seen at least for the next two
to three years, since there is work to be done by SAP
to integrate with Sybase," Yuhanna said. "We believe that it will
take SAP anywhere between six [and] eight
months to do the Sybase-SAP ERP application
integration. While we do envision that SAP
will offer a tighter and more optimized integration with Sybase database in the
years to come, we don't see Sybase [becoming] a major threat to Oracle or SQL
Server in the area of non-SAP applications
any time soon."