Welcome!

Apache Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Christopher Harrold, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, @CloudExpo, Apache

@DXWorldExpo: Blog Post

The NoSQL Database World Has Matured By @MapR | @CloudExpo [#BigData]

How NoSQL went from a quick and dirty alternative to RDBMSs, to a critical component of many enterprise data architectures

5 Ways the NoSQL Database World Has Matured Over the Years

With the proliferation of NoSQL databases in recent years, it can be easy to forget that not long ago, we were all discussing how to optimize traditional relational databases to perform tasks for non-relational workloads. Before we were talking about cost-effective horizontal scaling, flexible data types, and extremely fast data accesses, the world was all about the relational database management systems (RDBMS).

To provide a quick recap of the long-running, pre-NoSQL years, RDBMSs organized data into two-dimensional tables, containing all the details of each element in rows. Examples of these include Oracle, MySQL, DB2, SQL Server, and PostgreSQL. These systems continue to work well for applications that have consistent, predefined data structures such as ERP, CRM, and analytical reporting.

As the desired volumes for data collection and storage increased — especially with the advent of Apache Hadoop and big data — the RDBMSs struggled to remain cost-effective. That’s where NoSQL came into play. In the early days, NoSQL was seen as a quick and dirty alternative to RDBMSs, but they have since become critical components of many enterprise data architectures today. Consider the ways NoSQL databases have matured over the years.

What’s in a Name
Perhaps the first schism in the evolution of NoSQL was the meaning behind its name. Originally dubbed NoSQL in opposition to Structured Query Language (aka, SQL, the popular computer language for interacting with databases), or more precisely, RDBMSs, the name represented an abbreviation of the declarative “no to SQL.” In this early stage, NoSQL aspirations positioned it as a replacement for RDBMSs by offering a more cost-effective and flexible technology.

That aspiration was short-lived, however, as it was clear that RDBMSs still had a vital role in enterprise data architectures, and that NoSQL databases were more about using the right tool for the job. As a result, the term NoSQL evolved into the backronym, “not only SQL,” thus acknowledging that NoSQL is ideal for a new set of use cases, not the use cases for which RDBMSs already excel.

Interestingly, the NoSQL term is widely disliked by those in the industry for a variety of reasons. One major reason is that the name is actually a misnomer, as the NoSQL movement was about moving away from the rigid, predefined table structures of the relational model, and not a rejection of SQL. In fact, more and more NoSQL databases are adding SQL or SQL-like interfaces, making the name even more imprecise. Perhaps in the next few years we can expect a significant name change that more accurately describes the NoSQL technologies, and hopefully it will be a term that many of us will actually like.

Reliability
In the early days, the overwhelming reaction to NoSQL was that while it provided greater flexibility and scalability, it couldn’t be trusted to reliably store and retrieve data. The running joke among the veteran database die-hards was that NoSQL was acceptable only if you could afford to lose data. The jokes would go so far as to claim NoSQL was only useful for showing cat photos on websites.

Considering that even the huge RDBMS vendors sold products for many years that suffered from frequent crashes and data loss, it’s not surprising that NoSQL databases shared a similar start. But many NoSQL databases today are a far cry from the early versions, offering stronger data reliability that make them suitable for enterprise deployments. This has opened the door for NoSQL to support business-critical environments that require guaranteed high availability and disaster recovery, including large-scale applications that store sensitive personal information at some of the world’s largest financial services firms.

Expanding the Menu
At first, perhaps influenced by the stigma surrounding its reliability, NoSQL was almost exclusively used for so-called “commodity data,” i.e., data that needs to be stored and accessed but isn’t expected to provide high strategic value to the business or its customers. Examples included data for web page statistics, application state management, and system configurations. Businesses were quick to accept NoSQL for its cost-effective storage of commodity data, but weren’t yet ready to trust it with their most valued data.

These days, more types of data from the financial services, manufacturing, energy, and other industries are stored in NoSQL databases. Storage of sensitive customer information, critical machine sensor data for operational intelligence, and revenue-generating web content are among the more common uses for NoSQL today.

Convincing the Old Guard
Like all disruptive technologies, NoSQL’s biggest opponents from the outset were the developers and administrators facing a fundamental change to their modus operandi. With their experience and expertise on the trusted RDBMSs, would it seem interesting at all for them to pursue NoSQL?

NoSQL could be perceived as a threat to job security, reducing the need for database administration in favor of something closer to simple maintenance that would ensure the database stayed up and running. Also, database purists didn’t like the thought of tossing out ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties meant to guarantee that database transactions were processed reliably in RDBMSs. Critics pointed to early NoSQL failures, some of which were on a grand scale, to underscore the value of using a tried and true technology like RDBMSs.

NoSQL today is no longer seen as merely a trend, and has escaped from its early challenges, unlike the object-oriented databases and their quest to gain traction in an RDBMS-centric world. The leading NoSQL vendors today have much stronger reputations for big successes than for big failures. Much of the baggage, real and perceived, of the early generations of NoSQL databases has been left behind. Even the old guard of the RDBMS world is accepting NoSQL as a viable component in their enterprise architecture, and enterprises are finding that if they don’t explore NoSQL technologies, they are leaving themselves at a disadvantage.

What’s Old is New
NoSQL databases are beginning to look a lot like RDBMSs from certain angles. As an example, keeping in mind that “relations” in the relational model are tables, some NoSQL databases like Apache HBase and MapR-DB have table structures that essentially make them superficially look relational. They use the familiar columns and rows, with the added benefit of supporting “sparse data” in which you might have many possible columns per row, but only some of which are actually populated. This data model is important when you store records that differ in attributes across the entire database, which is a model that RDBMSs cannot handle efficiently.

A growing and significant trend is the use of SQL query engines to access NoSQL databases, which make more NoSQL systems look relational. Open source projects like Apache Drill provide SQL access to a variety of data formats, including JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), thus bringing relational capabilities to systems that are not based on the relational model. With the ubiquity of SQL and the rise of NoSQL, you can expect more enterprises to run third-party business intelligence and analytics tools in a “SQL-on-NoSQL” stack, thus blurring the differences between NoSQL and RDBMSs from an end-user perspective.

What’s Up Next?
NoSQL has come a long way since a database was first described using the term, and there’s still a long way it can go. According to figures from Market Research Media, the global NoSQL market will reach $3.4 billion in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate of 21% for the period of 2015 - 2020.

What can we expect in the coming years? It’s probably no question that there will be a lot of interesting innovations, and maybe some that few could have predicted today. Let me excuse myself from making any bold predictions here, so I’ll stick to some of the foreseeable next steps. For example, SQL-on-NoSQL will continue to gain traction to let organizations use familiar desktop tools on more data sources. As mentioned earlier, perhaps a name change to NoSQL is in order. More vendors and databases will continue to appear, in an already hot and perhaps crowded market. And as the phenomenon of big data becomes more commonplace in enterprises around the world, the more successful NoSQL vendors will deliver architectures that enable tighter, more real-time integrations with Hadoop.

More Stories By Dale Kim

Dale is Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His technical and managerial experience includes work with relational databases, as well as non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the UC Berkeley.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...