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NoSQL – Not only SQL – Introduction


A NoSql database Stands for “NOT Only SQL”. A NoSQL database provides a mechanism for storage and retrieval of data that uses looser consistency models rather than traditional relational databases. Motivations for this approach include simplicity of design, horizontal scaling and finer control over availability. NoSQL databases are often highly optimized key–value stores intended for simple retrieval and appending operations, with the goal being significant performance benefits in terms of latency and throughput.

NoSQL database find significant and growing industry use in big data and real-time web applications.

NoSQL – Not only SQL – Introduction

Over the last couple years, we see an emerging data storage mechanism for storing large scale of data. These storage solution differs quite significantly with the RDBMS model and is also known as the NOSQL. Some of the key players include …

  • GoogleBigTable, HBase, Hypertable
  • AmazonDynamo, Voldemort, Cassendra, Riak
  • Redis
  • CouchDB, MongoDB

These solutions has a number of characteristics in common

  • Key value store
  • Run on large number of commodity machines
  • Data are partitioned and replicated among these machines
  • Relax the data consistency requirement. (because the CAP theorem proves that you cannot get Consistency, Availability and Partitioning at the the same time)

The aim of this blog is to extract the underlying technologies that these solutions have in common, and get a deeper understanding on the implication to your application’s design. I am not intending to compare the features of these solutions, nor to suggest which one to use.

Advantages of NoSQL – Not only SQL:-

1: Elastic scaling

For years, database administrators have relied on scale up — buying bigger servers as database load increases — rather than scale out — distributing the database across multiple hosts as load increases. However, as transaction rates and availability requirements increase, and as databases move into the cloud or onto virtualized environments, the economic advantages of scaling out on commodity hardware become irresistible.

RDBMS might not scale out easily on commodity clusters, but the new breed of NoSQL databases are designed to expand transparently to take advantage of new nodes, and they’re usually designed with low-cost commodity hardware in mind.

2: Big data

3: Generally DBA is not required.

4: Economics

5: Flexible data models

Five challenges of NoSQL – Not only SQL

The promise of the NoSQL database has generated a lot of enthusiasm, but there are many obstacles to overcome before they can appeal to mainstream enterprises. Here are a few of the top challenges.

1:Providing Maturity

RDBMS systems have been around for a long time. NoSQL advocates will argue that their advancing age is a sign of their obsolescence, but for most CIOs, the maturity of the RDBMS is reassuring. For the most part, RDBMS systems are stable and richly functional. In comparison, most NoSQL alternatives are in pre-production versions with many key features yet to be implemented.

Living on the technological leading edge is an exciting prospect for many developers, but enterprises should approach it with extreme caution.

2: Providing Support

In contrast, most NoSQL systems are open source projects, and although there are usually one or more firms offering support for each NoSQL database, these companies often are small start-ups without the global reach, support resources, or credibility of an Oracle, Microsoft, or IBM.

3: For Analytics and business intelligence

NoSQL databases have evolved to meet the scaling demands of modern Web 2.0 applications. Consequently, most of their feature set is oriented toward the demands of these applications. However, data in an application has value to the business that goes beyond the insert-read-update-delete cycle of a typical Web application. Businesses mine information in corporate databases to improve their efficiency and competitiveness, and business intelligence (BI) is a key IT issue for all medium to large companies.
Some relief is provided by the emergence of solutions such as HIVE or PIG, which can provide easier access to data held in Hadoop clusters and perhaps eventually, other NoSQL databases. Quest Software has developed a product — Toad for Cloud Databases — that can provide ad-hoc query capabilities to a variety of NoSQL databases.

4:In Administration

The design goals for NoSQL may be to provide a zero-admin solution, but the current reality falls well short of that goal. NoSQL today requires a lot of skill to install and a lot of effort to maintain.

5: Expertise

There are literally millions of developers throughout the world, and in every business segment, who are familiar with RDBMS concepts and programming. In contrast, almost every NoSQL developer is in a learning mode. This situation will address naturally over time, but for now, it’s far easier to find experienced RDBMS programmers or administrators than a NoSQL expert.