Is NoSQL Disrupting the Database Industry?

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The big question of today is will NoSQL put an end to relational database’s 40-year old legacy? The answer is not very crisp yet very convincing – Relational databases will never die or become extinct per se, they will continue to exist, however their usage will be severely limited. Currently, more than 95% of the business apps store their data in relational databases while the remaining 5% is testing the new waters with NoSQL, with an increasing trend. As NoSQL grows older, database as an area will mature and evolve further and there will be more number of database technologies introduced. Each database solution will be useful for some particular scenarios, solving specific purposes and that is when choosing the right database will be a major concern. As data grows larger and larger with organizations seeking to store and measure every single metric possible, the weaknesses in the relational data model put it into a bad situation.  NoSQL databases industry grew out of the need for fast query speed and real-time analytics from data sources too large for traditional SQL.

Today existing database industry is worth 40 billion dollars. NoSQL is starting up, used to provide open-source development and deployment solutions to business apps. It is focused on internet and global applications. Some of the recognizable customers coming from all different verticals are Zynga (largest customer from social gaming industry), Salesforce, Docomo, Cisco, Orbitz, AOL etc. It provides flexible, high performance and scalable database. It stores large amount of data, supports large number of users and generates lot of database operations.

A Brief Background:

In the period since the 1970s, database technology has kept pace with the increasing resources becoming available from the computing platform: notably the rapid increase in affordable capacity and speed of disk storage and of main memory. All Relational databases have dominated the database industry for the last 40 years. The main competitors are Oracle, IBM db2, Microsoft with SQL Server which powers most of the business operations but they are stagnating now.

Current Need:

Today, people are more interested in database solutions which will handle more data and render apps in seconds without fail. They need real time interactive databases, storing huge amount of information, measuring app load time in sub-milliseconds. All at the time when nowadays we have 2 billion people connected to internet at the same time browsing app stores, downloading apps, chatting, playing, hosting online meetings, video calls, listening to music etc. More and more apps with huge number of users (millions of them) using the same app simultaneously. All this needs exceptional data processing capabilities by the database.

Introducing NoSQL:

NoSQL has all that and more. It supports semi-structured and structured data fitting all tables in relations databases. NoSQL is an emerging class of data management software that is optimized for the needs of interactive web applications, providing better scalability, performance and a more flexible data model than relational database technology. Mobile users are tremendously increasing and IT market affecting globally. They provide a big effect in accessing applications, these were the underlying trends that is moving NoSQL into a new horizon.

In this new era of Big Data, Big Users, Cloud Computing and SaaS, NoSQL advocates claim that NoSQL data model flexibility, performance and horizontal scalability make them better suited to the needs of today’s applications. NoSQL users can expand a cluster up to hundreds of servers, automatically keeping the workload evenly distributed among them. With consistent sub-millisecond response time. People are getting rid of centralized relational database which is costing more to low cost NoSQL open-source database which has  distributed architecture and provides wider data horizontal database solutions.

Internet service vendors, social networks, online business services, online retail, advertising industries with big clients like  BMW, Honda prefer NoSQL scalable databases these days to support huge network traffic.

Road Ahead:

More sophisticated applications having NoSQL database solutions for the next 20 years will rule internet, enterprises, govt/military providing quick architecture solutions rendering well in all electronic gadgets like ipad, iphone etc. With NoSQL social online games scaling up from 5 to 50 million users, data which is stored very quickly with running on high performance from  6 to 600 servers. And there are fewer chances of failure or crashes.

Lets make it simple whether we will use it or not, whether a particular technology will meet our business needs, whether it will be easy enough to render apps at targeted time. For some projects, I can use Oracle, MySQL, or SQL Server (yes, I’ve used all three on different projects) for clients who have large amounts of data that fit well into a tabular structure and who will be doing queries that pull back thousands of records per query. (Think financial applications.) For software that’s more oriented towards pulling individual objects (such as an online organizer tool, or an online content management system , I can opt for something like NoSQL.

NoSQL does great with large complex structures that are typically read in individually, while the large relational databases do well when I’m processing huge amounts of data. My client’s data needs are nowhere near as big as Google, so we don’t encounter any performance and scalability problems. All depends on me, my choice which technology to choose before starting my project NoSQL or Relational database.

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