Big Data // Big Data Analytics
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6/12/2014
08:10 AM
Doug Henschen
Doug Henschen
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16 NoSQL, NewSQL Databases To Watch

Traditional relational databases weren't invented with mobile, social, and big data types -- or extreme scale -- in mind. Get expert context on 16 next-era NoSQL and NewSQL choices.
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Why are businesses increasingly choosing alternatives to the leading relational database management systems when grappling with new data types and extreme scale?

We put that question to Bryson Koehler, CIO of The Weather Company, which is using a NoSQL database, Riak, as the foundation of a cloud-based weather prediction and forecasting system handling 20 terabytes of data per day. His answer was emphatic:

"We knew that we needed to run globally, and we knew we needed to scale to an astronomical level. I knew that I needed that to be fundamentally baked in to how we built the system. I didn't want it to be an add-on. I didn't want it to be an option. I didn't want it to have to require a team of people to maintain it. Your traditional relational data approaches are incredibly cumbersome, complicated, and don't, in my view, scale globally."

That's as strong an endorsement as you can get for NoSQL in a high-scale cloud deployment. We've heard equally positive comments about the flexible, schema-agnostic data-handling characteristics and ease of development offered by products like MongoDB and Couchbase. These guys get mobile, social, clickstream, and sensor data, proponents argue, and they might note that adding JSON support to a conventional database is like putting lipstick on a pig.

If there's one complaint raised, it's that NoSQL products, well, don't speak SQL, a mature language that supports all sorts of transactional and analytical capabilities. Enter NewSQL, an emerging category populated by vendors like Clustrix, MemSQL, VoltDB, and others that promise the global scalability of NoSQL without giving up SQL.

To date, NewSQL options have been far less popular than the NoSQL options, in part because they are very new, but also because a relational approach and data flexibility aren't easily combined. What's more, NewSQL vendors face more competition from old SQL vendors and complacent customers who give familiar products the first crack at solving new problems. That's an expensive mistake, argue the NewSQL vendors.

This collection offers a closer look at 16 notable NoSQL and NewSQL database management systems that deserve a closer look. Excluded from this portfolio are graph databases, which serve a very specific network-analysis role and do not serve in the same broad transactional role as these NoSQL and NewSQL databases. Also excluded are hugely popular products including Redis and Memcached, which tend to serve as data-caching tiers rather than as durable data stores.

This collection is distinguished from our 16 Top Big Data Analytics Platforms analysis, in that these are not, generally speaking, analytical platforms. Running transactional applications is the name of the game here, although these products can also address operational analytical needs. We're also not calling this a "top" collection because the dust hasn't even begun to settle, particularly in the NewSQL category.

Read on to get a bead on new options for modern data-management needs.

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/15/2014 | 1:51:06 PM
Re: redis and scalebase
I did mention Redis in the intro, along with Memchached and why I didn't include them.
IAmOnDemand01
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IAmOnDemand01,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/15/2014 | 5:07:24 AM
redis and scalebase
 So many options there.. you didnt mention

 

Redis - you can check the redislabs offering

 

and Scalebase.com who have an interesting techonlogy that support delineation between the application and the distributed database mechanism.
ardanstudios_bill
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ardanstudios_bill,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/14/2014 | 8:49:12 AM
MongoDB vs other NoSQL databases
I think it is good to compare all the NoSQL databases against each other's technical merits and MongoDB will easily hold its own. One thing never talked about are the companies and communities behind these technologies. If you are deploying an application or platform for production use, there are other serious questions you need to ask. What if you find a bug? Where can I go to get questions answered? How is the documentation? Is there a real company with real people behind it? One thing MongoDB has done very well is establish themselves in the technical community. The company provides incredible documentation, free training classes and a very active community blog. They support local Meetups throughout the world and have created a online community where no one ever needs to feel alone. They listen to their customers and have grown their products and services to meet their needs. I believe this is why MongoDB has become the NoSQL database everyone looks at and ends up choosing in the end.
sdlashley
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sdlashley,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2014 | 4:13:35 PM
Re: Don't forget about IBM Informix
I can see you are under a rock.

Informix is legendary in its ease of use. Don't believe? Ask folks who actually use the product.

Want to talk cost? Lets take Mongo... if you never need to do a backup, then sure, its pretty cheap. But, want to backup your data? That's gonna cost you. When you add in support costs and the costs of building and deploying enterprise class applications, Informix is very competitive. You want to go cheap? Informix runs on ARM & Quark servers too.

Plus, you get 30 years of experience on supporting a product that is deployed everywhere... telecom, retail, banking, gaming and a great and knowledgable users group community.

What's your definition of NoSQL or NewSQL? Just because a product has been around awhile doesn't disqualify it from being considered if it does most of what the other's claim to do. Why so narrow focused?
mraffi
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mraffi,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2014 | 2:47:56 PM
Re: More evidence on the state of CouchDB
Hey, its your list, so you get to pick what gets on it.

But know that there are better lists that dont omit big things based on points like the ones you seem to be making.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2014 | 2:19:17 PM
Re: Don't forget about IBM Informix
You must be kidding! This is a listing of "New"SQL offerings. What's the Informix story on ease/cost of ultra-high scale and ease of admin at that scale? Then let's talk about cost. Sure, big banks are still using Informix (invented circa 1980), but it doesn't belong on this list.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2014 | 2:17:32 PM
More evidence on the state of CouchDB
In February 2013, Jan Lehnardt wrote about "The State of CouchDB" at length. He felt compelled to assert that "CouchDB is not Dead," and added a lot of detail about a "CouchDB reboot." If you're interested in knowing more about CouchDB, I would read this article and know that the the database's fortunes have only improved with IBM's Cloudant purchase. But I did not separtely list it as a NoSQL "database to watch" and it would not have even come up if not for the IBM/Cloudant deal.

According to posts, Jan is affiliated with The Couch Firm, but do an Internet search of that name you'll see that it's a fledgling entity that emerged last year. I can't find much evidence -- just some Tweets and a single static web page -- of a solid, stable org that a company would trust to support a mission-critical application. 
sdlashley
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sdlashley,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2014 | 2:10:25 PM
Don't forget about IBM Informix
IBM Informix

DBMS type: SQL + NoSQL

Description: Its Informix... If you're not familiar with Informix yet, what rock are you under?

Comment: While traditional relational databases did not originate with mobile, social and big data types in mind, that doesn't mean they can't handle those things with ease. Not all traditional databases were created the same. Architecture matters! Informix supports JSON & BSON as a native type. That means you get enterprise class scalability (scale up to 2mil transactions a sec & scale out to hundreds of nodes). Want to see relational as JSON? Want to see JSON as relational? Want to run queries that join between relational and JSON or JSON to JSON? Use your existing mongo app and point it at Informix... no problem. Best solution in the world for TimeSeries data and you can do TimeSeries in JSON. Same goes for spatial. Want BLU acceleration of JSON docs? Got that too!
mraffi
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mraffi,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/13/2014 | 12:44:43 PM
Re: On CloudDB: Why I didn't list it separately
I couldn't have said it any better nslater. Perfect.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/13/2014 | 12:43:50 PM
Re: On CloudDB: Why I didn't list it separately
Follow that link to "The Couch Firm" and you won't find much there, there. It's just a landing page with no information about a company, its services/support offerings, its customers. It's history. Etc. Like I wrote and as these comments acknowlege, CouchDB's future is now closely tied up into whatever IBM does with Cloudant's technology. That's why CouchDB showed up in our listing by way of IBM/Cloudant.
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