Why NoSQL?

By all accounts, the consensus of IT professionals and industry database experts seems to be that NoSQL is here to stay. A recent study performed by a media firm on NoSQL market growth forecasts a very strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21 percent for NoSQL technology from 2013-2018.1 Such growth and increased adoption has prompted one technology writer to go so far as to say: “NoSQL is the stuff of the Internet age.”

The term “NoSQL” is sometimes misused and abused by various software vendors and technology professionals. In general, NoSQL refers to progressive data management engines that go beyond legacy relational databases in satisfying the needs of today’s modern business applications. A very flexible data model, horizontal scalability, distributed architectures, and the use of languages and interfaces that are “not only” SQL typically characterize NoSQL technology.

While what defines NoSQL databases has been much more clearly articulated today than just a few years ago, what still puzzles some IT professionals is when and why NoSQL databases should be used. When will a traditional RDBMS suffice for an application and when is a NoSQL database more appropriate?

This paper discusses six of the most common reasons NoSQL databases are being deployed today, and highlights how Apache Cassandra™ and DataStax Enterprise fulfill those use cases.