August 20, 2013

NoSQL is a misleading name. SQL was never the problem. However, this poorly named industry term does represent a response to changing business priorities and new challenges that require different kinds of database architectures.

Traditional database architectures were first developed in the late 60s and early 70s. They were the default option for many pre-Internet use cases and remain useful today for certain use cases requiring a relational data model. However, their limits are painfully apparent to many companies. Despite what traditional database vendors might have us believe, very little data generated today actually requires a SQL architecture. Businesses face many new challenges today that traditional databases simply are not designed to handle reliably or efficiently. These include:

  • Global Users. It is no longer enough to provide a fast experience in one country. Users from all over the globe expect a low-latency experience, making geo-data locality more important than ever.
  • Zero Downtime. Planned and unplanned. Both are bad for business. There is now an expectation for always-on availability. Operations teams emphasize must resiliency over recovery.
  • Scale Matters. Businesses need to scale up quickly to meet peak loads during the holidays or product launches, and then they need to scale back down. They need an architecture that makes scaling the least of their worries.
  • Flexible Data. From user generated data to machine-to-machine (M2M) activity, unstructured data is now commonplace. Businesses need flexibility to handle all the data generated and flowing.
  • Omnichannel. Whether users are on a tablet, laptop, or smartphone, they require a device agnostic experience and low-latency.
  • Amazon Economics. Every business wants Amazon Economics. With the nature of data growth today, businesses can’t afford expensive machines at every juncture. They need commodity machines to scale horizontally, not vertically.

Attempts to address these challenges with traditional databases result in an inflexible architecture with super high costs. “NoSQL” databases represent a fresh approach towards building flexible, resilient architectures. “NoSQL” goes where no database has ever gone before — into the wild space of the Internet and the massive scale requirements it represents.

Which brings us to NoSQL Now! Basho is sponsoring because the movement is more important than any single industry term. Andy Gross will also be on-hand to further discuss the larger trend of distributed systems:

Dealing with Systems in a New Distributed World
Andy Gross
Chief Architect and Co-creator of Riak
Thursday, August 22, 2013
3:00PM

Please join us in San Jose for a look at the future of database technology.

Basho