Seventhman Blog

NoSQL: A New Breed of Database Explored

"nosql"There’s a lot of talk about big data these days that a novice can easily get lost amidst all that tech talk.  Are we really ready for this?  The subject is becoming a hype lately, but that doesn’t mean another fad coming our way.  The big data movement is here to stay and data scientists are finding new playgrounds to thrive in, where intelligence is gathered from all that volume, speed and variety of data traveling on the fifth plane.  With Red Hat joining the emergence of NoSQL lately, we will just see how companies will maximize their applications and lessen the need for added relational databases.  The only question we need to ask concerns standards of how this new solution can sustain the need for cheap storage that is bundled with high performance.  Gone will be the days of slow hard drives and RDBMS.. because NoSQL is the crown of the internet superhighway.

NoSQL Seen Through the Lenses of a Business POV

To say that relational databases like MySQL, Oracle and MS SQL Server are dead is way too early.  In time, these may fade into a memento of the past.  Countless businesses are using these right now and it has proven to be effective in storing information.  But of course, these are not perfect.  Dealing with huge amount of information presents new challenges and the bottom line is, when an unprecedented amount of data is created, what good is it if you can’t utilize these data for your business?  In an ideal world, database technology should scale horizontally – something that is fast, agile and simple no matter how large the volume of data is.  With a good data model, like an open source, that can be run anywhere (virtually) on the cloud, this can mean easy access, easy deployment and high availability in an era where people are searching by the trillions.  If you’re a business dealing with massive amount of customer data, like an ecommerce site, that would mean faster results, less downtime, less IT costs and simply, less work.  The ‘pay as you go’ model that NoSQL users get means big savings over time.  Take for example those that provide cloud service with NoSQL offerings, it takes only seconds to use without having to worry about data configuration, nodes, clusters, scaling or data recovery.  Now, this is getting too technical.  Let’s say you have a site that gets millions like that of Digg’s.  I know it’s not normal, but having noSQL means having a peace of mind, whether you’re scaling from megabyte, gigabyte, petabyte or any  size of data that you may have.  The last thing you want is for your system to crash and for you to  lose important data in the process, that is, if you’re still doing it the traditional way.

A New Era of Transformation is Here

The only thing relevant to these changes is your perception of big data.  NoSQL brings us a new kind of freedom from the pains of relational databases.  While some are just a few key-value data stores, others are built on XML, The truth is far more simple:  NoSQL is NOT a buzzword; it exists and it will continue to thrive because there’s a demand for it.  The size of this market may not be known right now, but as soon as companies see the light of how beneficial it will be to their business, we will see a growing acceptance for these NoSQL databases.  Because the truth is, as your data starts to grow, you will need more space to store it and a faster way of updating and accessing it, which may not be delivered by the old way of managing data systems.  The real challenge is to see brick-and-mortar companies adapt to this change and finding top caliber data scientists to play with these new tools.

Is NoSQL the Ultimate Answer to the Big Data Problem?

Because every day.. data grows. There are so many manuals to learn and yet, so little time.  What good is data if you will not manage and analyze it?  The real problem may lie with choosing the right database solution for your business.  While there are those who love the idea of a non-relational, non-structured SQL, there are those who are saying that the level of risks are high.  There are errors to correct and upgrades to do just to sustain a project.  Just because talks of NoSQL is hot these days doesn’t mean you have to choose this technology.  Yes, data is increasing, from structured to unstructured, and you may need a new way of managing it.  You need to evaluate thoroughly the pros and cons of running something that’s relatively new.  For all its flexibility and scalability, I’d say it’s not really a one-size-fits-all solution for all.

In the end, it’s all about the idea of delay… which you can’t simply have when you’re running a business 24×7.