The One-Stop Solution to All Your Database Problems – NoSQL

Initially, the prime choice for information storage was RDBMS (Relational Database Management System). RDBMS was useful for storage of important information in databases, such as financial accounts, personnel information and logistics records. However, the need for an innovative, non-structured method to store and retrieve data was felt, and NoSQL made its debut.

nosql database advantagesOrganizations were in desperate need of a database mechanism that would provide ease of use in storage and retrieval of data. Most database solutions were complex, and had a list of limitations attached to them. With the introduction of NoSQL (Not Only SQL), organizations found it easy to apply it to a variety of situations and data types.

The advantages of NoSQL

The main influence driving the popularity of NoSQL over the relational database model is that it deviates from the restrictively defined rows and columns that are usually adopted by this conventional database. There are other key advantages to the NoSQL modeling structure too.

  1. 1. Flexibility

The fact that NoSQL does not follow any pre-defined model, gives its administrator the liberty to store and retrieve data in any desired format, thus increasing its flexibility. This also means that any changes to the database will not adversely affect the system or result in down-time. Comparatively, any change in database management conducted through the relational database model raises the probability of system and service downtime.

  1. 2. User friendliness

NoSQL is considered user-friendly due to its key feature of simpler and easier deployment of tasks, when weighed against the relational models. This has come out of the intense study and analysis that went into the preparation of this model. NoSQL provides the administrator an irresistible list of benefits that include reduced management, programmed repair, distribution of data and simply designed models.

  1. 3. Scalability

NoSQL’s operational functions are created to match the increase in database size, especially when it comes to big data. The relational model followed a strategy of expanding their database by adding additional servers that would handle the load of the increasing growth of data. NoSQL’s strategy is designed using the approach of distributing database horizontally, across several hosts that would aid the management of the data load. This strategy works best as it helps store and manage massive amounts of data in a seamless way.

  1. 4. Affordability

NoSQL utilizes medium quality servers that are low-priced, as compared to the expensive servers that are used in the relational database model. Also, the fact that it is an open source product increases its reliability and ease of deployment, making it a safer and more affordable option for data storage and retrieval.

  1. 5. Extensive recognition

Since the time it was launched, NoSQL databases have been extensively recognized, and even preferred. With the ubiquitous influence of the cloud, NoSQL databases are here to stay. The model and technology utilized in NoSQL assist in sorting out issues related to unstructured data.

  1. 6. The compatibility factor with cloud computing

On the same lines of cloud computing, NoSQL too follows the strategy of horizontal scaling. This creates a higher compatibility between the two and guarantees seamless deployment. Administrators can sit back and focus their attention on the software aspect, rather than being concerned with the type or quality of hardware being used.

With these highlighted features as well as some others, NoSQL has steadily gained an important advantage by overcoming the limitations of the relational database technology. Many leading internet organizations such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and LinkedIn have adopted this technology, thus giving it widespread acceptance in today’s market.

Major trends that point to NoSQLs increased relevance

NoSQL is ideally designed for enterprises that are driven by the following major trends, and therefore prove to be an essential element.

The Big Users influence

Along with the ever-growing amount of information, apps and entertainment on the internet, the number of users is rapidly increasing too. This was not the case even a decade ago. However, with the speedy increase of online surfers, enterprises need to be adequately prepared to handle the sudden spike or downfall in the number of users, at any moment. The dynamic scalability feature of NoSQL is apt in such cases, and is hence ideal for such Big Users.

The Big Data influence

With the sudden, although expected, spike in the usage of internet, mobile apps and social media, enterprises are experiencing the Big Data phenomenon. It is faster and easier to collect and access data of all sorts. The ever-growing collection of data makes it important for enterprises to be able to capture this data, utilize it and also make it available to the end user. For this, they require a special database that supports and accommodates such big data.

The Internet of Things influence

The Internet of Things wave requires a whole load of physical data to be associated and linked to the internet, to identify themselves with other devices. This is important, as any physical object gains the capability to represent itself in a digital manner. Considering the seamless access to information, numerous institutions like insurance companies, finance and marketing sectors, hospitals, mobiles, tablets, etc. are sending and receiving data through the internet. Such semi-structured data faces several challenges with the relational database. NoSQL, on the other hand, is ideal to carry out tasks of storage and retrieval of huge amounts of data without being confined to a structured model.

The cloud computing influence

With the introduction and spread of cloud computing, numerous users access information on the internet. In order to balance out this sudden load of incoming traffic, the cloud redirects this traffic in a scale-out strategy.  NoSQL database follows the scale-out strategy too, and is the perfect option that supports cloud computing.

Key disadvantages of NoSQL

Although NoSQL may often be flaunted as the answer to all of the database world’s problems, there are instances when the solution hits a wall. Hence, a varied approach is essential. Some notable shortcomings of the NoSQL database include:

Level of maturity

The level of maturity is relatively low, as compared to that of a relational database. Not many administrators are skilled or technically equipped to handle it.

Lack of consistency

NoSQL has come up against a few hurdles in relation to data consistency, as its focus is mainly on scalability and high performance standards. For enterprises that deal with critical or essential data, like insurance records or financial annals, this could prove to be a major setback.

However, in spite of these shortcomings, NoSQL remains a resilient database model. A NoSQL database emphasizes scalability and quick response; assisting enterprises by providing an open source solution, unlike a relational database. It also aids administrators by helping them manage the huge data created and shared by modern applications, making NoSQL a popular solution. Do get in touch with us to learn more about the possibilities and potential of NoSQL for your organization:

Image Credit: Alpha on Flickr

Author : Stanley Anto Date : 15 Jan 2015