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White Paper: NoSQL in the Enterprise

Title: NoSQL in the Enterprise

Description: The information processing demands of many of today’s businesses long ago outgrew the legacy RDBMS software that first appeared in the mid-1980s with IBM, and then continued into the 1990s with Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, and MySQL. The Web’s explosive growth since the 1990s has only amplified the need for businesses to manage increasingly large volumes of data – data that must be made available across a distributed (geographically or otherwise) system and does not fit neatly into a relational data model.

While Internet giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Google may have been the first to truly struggle with the “big data problem,” enterprises across industries – and not just Web-based organizations – are now struggling to manage massive quantities of data, or data entering systems at a high velocity, or both. As an example, according to a recent report from consulting giant McKinsey & Company, the average investment firm with fewer than 1,000 employees has 3.8 petabytes of data stored, experiences a data growth rate of 40 percent per year, and stores structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.

As pressing dilemmas typically give rise to innovation, it wasn’t long before data scientists and engineers delivered a new and advanced set of software designed to meet 21st century data management demands. The term “NoSQL” was introduced to describe the progressive data management engines that contained some RDBMS-like qualities, but went beyond the limits that currently shackle traditional SQL-based databases.

There hasn’t been such a rapid shift to a new method for storing data since the move from hierarchical to relational data stores. Conferences devoted to addressing modern data management challenges have been sold out – and most have focused agendas on NoSQL topics. Technology leaders are no longer addressing the question of if they’ll have a NoSQL strategy, but rather when their NoSQL strategy will roll out – and more importantly, what it will be comprised of.

That last question is not easy to answer, as the NoSQL ecosystem has been one of rapid change, with numerous software offerings appearing under the NoSQL umbrella. However, as more enterprises have implemented NoSQL solutions, a distinctive set of criteria has emerged that can help today’s IT professional more easily identify the NoSQL solutions built for enterprisewide deployment. This paper outlines these characteristics in detail so that those implementing a NoSQL strategy can make more informed decisions when (1) choosing a particular set of NoSQL software, and (2) deciding which vendors to target.