It was an interesting year for database vendors. It was a year of cloud databases and acquisitions, most notably Sun Microsystems' purchase of MySQL. Here are some of the top stories for the database space in 2008, in no particular order:
Sun Microsystems Acquires MySQL AB
Sun's $1 billion acquisition of MySQL made waves in the database space, bringing Sun's support and sales organization to what was already the most downloaded open-source database on the market.
Vendors Pursue Cloud Databases
The concept of databases-in-the-cloud picked up steam in the market, with companies such as Microsoft joining the fray with SQL Server Data Services. Other vendors made plays in the cloud as well, notably Amazon with its SimpleDB service and smaller companies like EnterpriseDB and Blist.
SQL Server 2008 Release
After years of development, Microsoft released SQL Server 2008. The release was chock full of features meant to compete with Oracle's 11g Database and IBM DB2 9.5, both of which came out in 2007.
IBM DB2 Turns 25
IBM's DB2 turned 25, highlighting the company's long history in the relational database business.
Sybase Gets into Cluster Databases
With the release of the cluster edition of Sybase ASE, the company positioned itself to compete, at least from a functionality standpoint, with the capabilities of Oracle Real Application Clusters.
Microsoft Acquires DATAllegro
Microsoft bought DATAllegro this fall with the goal of expanding the ability of SQL Server to support large data warehousing environments.
Columnar Databases Gain Steam
There seemed to be a lot more talk in 2008 about columnar databases and their ability to help with data warehousing. Some of the vendors making noise included Sybase, Vertica Systems and ParAccel.
Oracle and HP Team on HP Oracle Database Machine
The partnership between Oracle and Hewlett-Packard was one of the major announcements from this year's Oracle OpenWorld.