NoSQL Databases

by Chris S
Databases come in all types, from Relational Database Management Systems to Database warehouses. The RDBMS has been the most popular out of the bunch, but a new database has been gaining favor amongst businesses. NoSQL is the new database type that has been drawing lots of attention. It uses techniques that were not so fitting with the traditional SQL. The big difference is in how NoSQL functionality provides better data storage and retrieval. Technology in general will always have its pros and cons. NoSQL, however, has some interesting advantages. The big advantage to NoSQL database is that administrators will not have to “scale up” as data storage increases. The elasticity of NoSQL allows it to expand transparently to services new nodes that are added to it. Cloud servers are another example of admins not having to increase hardware size to meet big data needs. Big data is one reason why many companies are looking for new ways to handle the massive amounts of data stored on RDBMS. As businesses thrive and collect more data, the RDBMS may not be the best fit for storing decades of data and transaction logs. Everything about these new databases outweighs what RDBMS can do. Unfortunately, NoSQL databases are designed to require very little management, creating a decrease in demand for Database Administrators. That doesn’t mean DBAs will no longer be needed, but companies can cut back on the costs for such skilled individuals. NoSQL databases also cost less to store and retrieve data then typical RDBMS, since they utilize other servers to manage data and transactions.

It is good to see companies benefiting from new technology. I don’t think NoSQL databases will outmuscle the traditional RDBMS since it is considered to be in beta. Most companies who have RDBMS should not be so quick to ditch them for cloud or NoSQL. RDBMS have had time to mature and have showed why they are so reliable. Like all technology, however, things become obsolete, but the RDBMS is not going anywhere anytime soon. Twitter has been using NoSQL databases and proved that when used properly, the technology works quite well. Data retrieval is important and if NoSQL can prove to be more efficient then SQL then I won’t be surprised to see more NoSQL in the future. I’m curious to see first hand, the differences in both, and can’t wait to start using SQL in my Database course.


Daniel Bartholomew (2010, September 1) LinuxJournal. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from,