NoSQL ( “non SQL”, “non relational” or “not only SQL” )

NoSQL a bucket term for any data storage technology that is not relational in nature. NoSQL databases schemas and applications have now emerged into the mainstream as a tool for organizations battling big data requirements. What does NoSQL actually imply, and what advantages and disadvantages does NoSQL deliver for data storage? To begin with, NoSQL”is not a specific database product. It is a term that refers to a general category of database methodology and techniques, and a handful of vendors have implemented NoSQL administration in different ways.

With a relational database like MySQL, the database architect or programmer needs to define and detail in advance where the data is going to be stored. Different tables are created, different pieces of data are stored inside different tables, and data is retrieved based on table structure. So MySQL, and other relational databases, are close to perfect. But what happens when your storage needs not so predictable? What if your applications data storage needs to be highly scalable? Relational databases don’t work quite so well in those situations.


Simplicity, Openness, Availability & Scalability
The real question is scalability and availability requirements for your database. What is amount of new users per second? Number of data updates per second, etc. Do you have to set-up replication and have database available across co-locations? With NOSQL, like MongoDB, replication and sharding setup is relatively easy and more reliable than in MySQL.  NoSQL allows to stream data into a database without defining a formal storage structure. Therefore one does not need to write as much cryptic code for an application to interact with the database. Also one can retrieve data quickly without having to tell your application where precisely to pinpoint what data you want within a large, rigid, syntactically very sensitive database structure. NoSQL DB’s also tends to scale better as they are designed to be able to run easily on distributed or clustered environments. NoSQL databases are designed to run across multiple servers – at the same time – and still appear to your application like a single database. This methodology makes it a lot easier to add more storage quickly whenever a lot more data is to be stored. This is a key advantage  when cloud & “internet of Things” devices are creating an environment of rapidly changing data storage needs. Traditional databases were designed before clusters, and “the cloud”, became the norm. Distributing databases across multiple hosts is more complicated than using NoSQL databases. Relational databases also tend to require more expensive servers, but NoSQL databases have proven to be cheaper commodity hardware. The 3rd big advantage which most NoSQL databases offer is “open source”.


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