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Cloud-based DBMS's popularity grows at high rates

by Paul Andlinger, 12 December 2019
Tags: Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift, DBaaS, Firebase Realtime Database, Google BigQuery, Google Cloud Firestore, Microsoft Azure DocumentDB, Microsoft Azure Search, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Azure SQL Database

Cloud-based database management systems are continuously increasing in popularity. We analyze the trends and show the big players.

About three years ago we were writing about the popularity of cloud-based DBMS’s. At that time the popularity of those systems just had increased to 1.6% of the overall popularity of all DBMS’s. We think it is time to look what has happened since then.
First let’s be clear: with ‘cloud-based DBMS’ we mean systems which are available only as a cloud service and cannot be installed on premises or rented servers. Based on the popularity scores of the 350 systems in the DB-Engines ranking, we calculated the popularity of cloud-based DBMS’s as percentage of the overall popularity of all systems.

cloud-based DBMS popularity trend

As of December 2019, cloud-based DBMS's account for about 3.7% of the overall DBMS popularity and they show a rather constant upwards trend. We will see in the next rankings if the slight ups and downs of the previous quarter indicate a slow-down of that trend or if they are just statistical anomalies.
The table below lists the ten most popular cloud-based DBMS's and nearly all of them increased their ranks over the last three years:
   Popularity rank 
December 2019

 Popularity rank 
December 2016

Amazon DynamoDB 16 22
Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB 24 59
Microsoft Azure SQL Database 25 28
Google BigQuery 27 38
Amazon Redshift 31 31
Firebase Realtime Database 40 80
Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse 42  
Amazon Aurora 47 72
Microsoft Azure Search 52 83
Google Cloud Firestore 56  

The big players in that market unsurprisingly are Amazon, Microsoft and Google. For the chart below we also added IBM and Alibaba because they provide at least 2 different cloud-based database systems.

Cloud providers trend chart

As mentioned earlier, the above numbers refer to the specific cloud-based DBMS's and not to cloud-service offerings of database systems, which are not exclusively built for the cloud. So, the various MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB or PostgreSQL DBaaS offerings are not counted in, but do certainly establish an other important variant for consuming database services from the cloud. E.g., MongoDB's Mat Keep told us that the free tier signups for their MongoDB cloud service is already closing the gap with the numbers of downloads of MongoDB.
It will be interesting to see the further evolution of database systems in the cloud.

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