Top Database Stories of 2008

The big stories in the database arena in 2008 included cloud databases, the release of SQL Server 2008 and acquisitions, most notably Sun Microsystems' purchase of MySQL.

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.