Big data technology market speeding up – with NoSQL and Hadoop at forefront

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


The big data technology landscape is varied and vast – and a new report from Forrester examines the key strands, with non-relational databases taking the bulk of the honours.

The report, claimed to be a first of its kind from the analyst firm titled Big Data Management Solutions Forecast 2016 to 2021, argues NoSQL and Hadoop will see the biggest growth during the five year period, with the markets growing 25.0% and 32.9% per year respectively. The analysts also claim that the big data technology space will grow at three times the rate of the overall technology market.

Forrester defines big data technology in six buckets; enterprise data warehousing, NoSQL, Hdaoop, big data integration, data virtualisation, and in-memory data fabric. The latter, a product which usually offers data, compute and service grids as well as an in-memory database, is predicted to grow at 29.2% annually over the coming five years.

Usage varies by industry, but the report notes that while telecommunications, professional services, finance and government are the largest users of these technologies now, the pharmaceutical, transport and primary production industries will be the quickest growing. Almost 40% of firms polled by Forrester say they are implementing and expanding their big data technology adoption, with another 30% planning to up their usage in the next 12 months.

One industry case study which utilises Hadoop in particular is Trulia, an online residential marketplace. On a given day, Trulia would crunch more than a terabyte of data, and cross reference it with a couple of petabytes of existing data to give their users the most accurate information possible.

With regards to NoSQL, a report from Gartner released in April this year around database management systems (DBMS) argued that for the five leaders – Basho, Couchbase, Datastax, MarkLogic and MongoDB – there was “still not much to write home about” in terms of revenue compared to the relational database behemoths.

The vendors will tell a different story, however. Couchbase, for instance, concluded a $30 million series F funding round back in March, with CEO Bob Wiederhold telling this publication that an IPO was not too far away. Yet the overall theme, according to both Gartner and Forrester, is that change is coming – it is just taking a while to get there.

“The complexity and richness of data is changing, along with exploding data volume and velocity. Unstructured data, such as text, tweets, graphs, and video, is an increasingly important source of information,” wrote Jennifer Adams, Forrester senior forecast analyst in a blog post. “Not surprisingly, we expect non-relational databases to be the fastest growing sector within big data management solutions.”

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