The legacy relational database – long the enterprise workhorse for storing and processing data – is being challenged by an explosion of data generated by internet, mobile and cloud applications. Not only is more data being generated, it is being generated by more sources - social, geo, sensor, machine, network (The Internet of Things), to name a few.
NoSQL, or “not only SQL,” offers a new approach to managing large volumes of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. As an open source platform, NoSQL distributes workloads across commodity hardware which enables cost effective storage, processing and analysis of disparate data sets quickly.
Right Tool for the Right Job
NoSQL databases allow you to choose how data is stored and queried, thus organizations can design databases in ways that fit their business requirements. Relational databases require a schema to be defined before storing the data into many interrelated tables. NoSQL databases are schema-less and store data by aggregating it into a single object using key-value, tabular or document based methods. As a result, NoSQL offers more flexible data models because the data formats can change constantly without performance disruption.
Uninterrupted Data Access
NoSQL’s inherent fault-tolerance makes it a reliable data management tool. The system assumes that operations will fail (oftentimes based on the large scale of work being done) and is designed to handle those failures. Failure points are addressed at the architecture level of the NoSQL database, which means uninterrupted service for business users.
Cost Effectively Scales to Demand
The traditional relational database forces a user to purchase bigger and faster servers, as well as additional storage capacity and licensing, to keep up with business demand – a costly and time intensive approach. NoSQL databases, on the other hand, distribute data across multiple nodes in a cluster – a design that easily and cost effectively scales to demand. To increase the size of a NoSQL database, simply add new servers to the rack, and execute a few commands (to add the new server to the cluster) and you are ready to go. Because NoSQL is open source, there are no licensing costs associated with adding new servers.
In the data-driven economy, data is a valuable asset to organizations – but only if actionable insights can be gained. NoSQL databases provide the scalability, reliability and flexibility to be able to perform analytic queries quickly and efficiently.
While NoSQL databases address many of the challenges that traditional relational databases face, NoSQL should not be seen as a replacement to RDBMS environments. Knowing when to use NoSQL technology and how to implement it into your enterprise environment requires a clear strategy and understanding of the tools. If your data needs are exceeding your relational database’s capabilities, MetaScale can help.