Sybase Database Business Rises Behind ASE, IQ

Sybase reports a 15 percent increase in revenue from database licenses on the strength of the success of its Adaptive Server Enterprise and Sybase IQ. However, with long-term partner Sun Microsystems taking a hit in the market, some ask whether Sybase will be affected.

Download the authoritative guide: Big Data: Mining Data for Revenue

Sybase saw its database business pick up steam in the third quarter of 2008 to the tune of a 15 percent year-over-year increase.

The increase was just one part of the good news for the quarter for Sybase, which saw an 11 percent revenue bump overall. In real numbers, total revenue for the third quarter of 2008 increased to $284 million from $255.3 million at the same point last year. License revenue grew to $92.9 million from $85.1 million year-over-year, while services jumped to $146.3 million from $135.8 million a year ago. Messaging revenue increased from roughly $10 million to $44.7 million, a jump of 30 percent.

"We've got the install base real interested in upgrading and moving on to [Adaptive Server Enterprise] 15 and buying options," said Sybase CEO John Chen. "The other part is [Sybase IQ]. A lot of the IQ [users] actually come from new customers, brand-new customers to Sybase."

Chen has said previously the relational database market has been decided-a sentiment that seems to be true, as Sybase still sits behind Oracle, IBM and Microsoft in market share. The clustering technology added to ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise) as well as other functionality has the company holding its position, Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg said.

"IQ competes very well now positioned as an analytic server," Feinberg said. "Column DBMSes have great performance for analytics. IQ is the most mature and widely installed column DBMS on the market."

Click here to read more about how Sybase's investments in database technology seem to be paying off.

However Sybase's good news was not shared by Sun Microsystems, one of Sybase's long-time partners. Oct. 20, Sun reported it was expecting a loss for the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 28. Its stock dipped today, Oct. 21, in response.

Sybase and Sun have worked together for more than 20 years; when ASE Cluster Edition was first released in February, 64-bit Solaris was the first Unix operating system to be supported.

Still, Chen said he was not overly concerned with how Sun's reported $369 million loss would affect his company's business.

"In the beginning of times of the database market, the Unix technology was very important to winning or losing deals," Chen said. "Obviously we're a big partner with Sun. We started a lot of business with Sun and we're continuing a lot of business with Sun. Their loss is never good news for us. But, that said, our products run on HP [Hewlett-Packard] and IBM and Dell, on all the Intel boxes, so it's not really something [where] we tie ourselves completely to one versus the other."