Is Polyglot Persistence the future of the data storage and access?

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  • Author:
  • Saranya Balachandran

Polyglot Persistence

In the age of Big Data and the Internet of Things, data storage is a pertinent area of study. Various data storage technologies are used to preserve data. Depending on the volume of data, frequency of access, and cost effectiveness, organizations choose to distribute data across several platforms.

In this context, it is important to understand the term “polyglot persistence”. Picture this: When an organization has distributed data over Oracle databases, MySQL Community, MongoDB, DB2, and Redis, they operate a polyglot persistent environment. This simply means that the organization has adopted the concept of using multiple data storage technologies or database systems.

Earlier, to avoid the incurring cost of license fees, most of the IT companies used a single default database server for storing data. Today, organizations are able to comprehend that each database server is different in form and purpose, and therefore it is important to have the right mix of data storage technologies to enable optimum data storage.

To comprehend the need for different databases, it is important to understand the basic differences between SQL and NoSQL databases. Though SQL databases are best fit for heavy duty transaction-based applications owing to their stability, it is not best suited for hierarchical data storage. NoSQL databases on the other hand, are highly scalable and resourceful for large data sets.

Here are some reasons why polyglot persistence is the way forward:

Disparate storage necessities

In this age of big data, complex problem solving is an everyday occurrence. In order to address the nitty-gritties of a problem in the most pragmatic way possible, you will need to introduce more than one style of database and other supporting technologies. In fact, even less complex applications that consume multiple data formats require differentiated querying modes. These modes include key-value lookup, full-text search, and geo-location, graph traversal, and time-ordered events.

User expectations

It is proven that no individual database can handle all query types that drive rich user experiences. In order to contend with the expectations of business users, developers have to build compelling applications that are context-specific. This requirement is empowering developers to construct polyglot storage systems.

Contextual application response

Organizations can have multiple representations of the same data, where and when it is convenient in the context of the application.

Economic viability

Economic reasons plays a pivotal role when it comes to making a choice of a particular database platform. For instance, in certain cases, a freely available open-source database may seem to be the best fit for a given task at hand. In this case, the organization evades spending money on a commercial database.

Better scalability

Designed to operate over clusters, several NoSQL databases are capable of handling larger volumes of traffic and data. In these times when enterprises look to use and store data more, scaling will be an important feature that will be sorted for.

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