Should we be learning NoSQL?

by Shigom H
Last week, Hitachi visited Cal Poly Pomona and asked during the MISSA meeting if anyone could define a “cloud”.  A ” cloud” which relates to NoSQL, may benefit businesses because it offers an efficient and costly route to storing data on virtual servers.   NoSQL is a non-relational database approach to storing large amounts of data. An example of  database management systems that utilize this approach are MongoDB, Cassandra, HyperTable, CouchDB and Hadoop. In “10 things you should know about NoSQL databases” Guy Harrison does a quick analysis of  the advantages and disadvantages associated with a NoSQL database.

According to Harrison, some advantages of NoSQL are its scalability, affordability, capacity and more significant to us, is its non-reliance on Database Administrators.  Yes, according to the article,  NoSQL databases are complete functional systems that can be modified without “the assistance of a expensive, highly trained DBAs”.   However, the pitfalls of a NoSQL database might lengthen the lifespan of DBAs. The disadvantages of having a NoSQL database are comprised of the following: lack of maturity, provides little business intelligence, lack of expertise in NoSQL Databases(More experienced RDBMS Programmers),  and  it requires a modest degree of skill and effort to install and maintain.
The Technological environment is always changing to meet the demands of a fast-paced society.  Thus, the skills acquired today can easily be obsolete by tomorrow.  The article was interesting because it entertains the unfortunate possibility that are knowledge of the relational database model system that we are learning in class might serve no purpose. Also, the fact that someone from industry, “Hitachi” was interested in what students or future employees knew about the cloud environment makes me wonder.

Harrison, G. (2010, August 26). 10 things you should know about NoSQL databases. TechRepublic. Retrieved October 7, 2012, from www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-things-you-should-know-about-nosql-databases/1772

3 thoughts on “Should we be learning NoSQL?

  • October 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm
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    I agree that technology advances are constantly changing. However, I don’t think that the things we learn today are going to be so obsolete tomorrow because all the upcoming changes are based on improving existing ideas. So, it is indeed important to obtain knowledge on previous things to grasp the concept and have a better understanding on new incoming technology advances. Maybe the things we learn today or the way we learn to implement a procedure will not be the same use in a month, but it will be fundamental in knowing how to put in practice new methods.

  • October 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm
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    The NoSQL non-relational database is interesting. It is a relatively new way for firms to store massive amount of information and it is cost effective. But as you mention, there is a downfall. It is lacking maturity and provide little business intelligence. I like how you mention that this system can be obsolete in the future. Since technology is progressing so quickly, who knows what type of system we will be storing our data in.

  • October 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm
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    While “NoSQL databases are complete functional systems that can be modified without the assistance of a expensive, highly trained DBAs”, it requires other expensive highly trained programmer who has the expertise and skills (e.g. to source and integrate enterprise data, to access to an incredible amount of data and the ability to do complex queries, and to access to an incredible amount of data and the ability to do complex queries) and they are not available in most enterprise today. I left more related comments on another blog post at http://misclassblog.com/database-design-and-development/mysql-nosql-and-now-newsql/

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