Shiyi Gu

Is NoSQL the Right Database for Your Needs

By Shiyi GuMay 30, 2014

The term “NoSQL” is sometimes misunderstood by 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.

Why NoSQL Matters?

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 the growth of the NoSQL market forecasts a very strong compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% for NoSQL technology from 2015 to 2020, with a global market size projection of $3.4 billion by 2020. No wonder technology pundits are claiming that NoSQL is changing the landscape of the database marketplace.

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 does a traditional relational database system (RDBMS)  suffice for an application and when is a NoSQL database more appropriate?

One of our recent blog posts “Big Data or Big Hype” discussed why NoSQL matters in the modern world of big data where many major issues cannot be solved by traditional RDBMS’s.  Some of the greatest advantages NoSQL offers over RDBMS’s include superior write performance with high data velocity, strong data variety support, linear scalability across commoditized hardware, a peer-to-peer architecture that eliminates a single point of failure to ensure 100% application uptime, and multi-data center support for data replication across any deployment type.

NoSQL Pioneers

Thousands of forward-thinking companies have already embraced this technology across various use cases to help them transform and modernize their business.

For example, the world’s largest online marketplace eBay, serves over 112 million active users and 400+ million items for sale. The ecommerce giant has been extraordinarily successful in turning the enormous volumes of data it generates into useful insights that its customers can glean directly from the pages they frequent.  To accommodate eBay’s explosive data growth, its data centers perform billions of reads and writes each day.  And with the increasing demand to process data at blistering speeds, eBay chose DataStax because it does not have the typical bottlenecks, scalability issues and transactional constraints associated with common RDBMS approaches.  Now eBay stores 250TB+ of structured and unstructured data across dozens of nodes in multiple data centers, and runs more than 6 billion writes and 5 billion reads per day.

ebay Cassandra presentation

Check out this presentation to learn how Cassandra is leveraged at eBay.

Take the Leap

100% uptime no matter what? Scale to 1,000 nodes without breaking the bank? If you’re relying on 30-year-old legacy database systems to address these needs, you can forget about it.  The requirements of today’s online applications have outpaced what the Oracle’s of the world can effectively support.  NoSQL was made for the age of the Internet and today’s modern online and mobile applications that thrive on continuous availability, cost effective scalability and screaming performance. To learn more about how NoSQL is being used today, check out this white paper on the 6 most common reasons why IT professionals choose NoSQL.



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