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Posts Tagged ‘nosql’

The NoSQL DB hype

March 18, 2010 Leave a comment

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Digg has decided to replace MySQL and most of their infrastructure components. They are probably benchmarking Twitter, who moved away from LAMP (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) to another architecture around the NoSQL DB Cassandra, a project open sourced by Facebook in 2008 and licensed under the Apache License. Facebook is using Cassandra as their inbox search engine. It develops a highly scalable second-generation distributed database. The reason for this move, as explained for example by Digg, is the increasing difficulty of building a high-performance, write-intensive application on a data set that is growing quickly, with no end in sight. This growth has forced them into horizontal and vertical partitioning strategies that have eliminated most of the value of a relational database, while still incurring all the overhead.

Some opinions state that Cassandra developers are celebrating that their database is now used to store the largest amount of worthless information in history. Others say that before this decision, MySQL was the best way to store data no one cared about. Going beyond this criticism, I decided to question the hype around the NoSQL phenomenon and try to bust some myths surrounding the relational vs. non-relational data bases.

2010 is a very exciting time to be a database geek. Back in 2003, there were essentially seven different free choices, all of which are SQL-based. In 2010, there are dozens of new databases, with about 60 different flavors to choose from. Read more…

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CouchDB targets the cloud

March 10, 2010 Leave a comment

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SQL-based relational database management systems (RDBMS) are beginning to be challenged by a new movement of NoSQL databases. Among those NoSQL databases is the open source CouchDB. This is an alternative to the relational datastores used by RDBMS vendors; they are trying to move to cloud-based deployment options to appeal more users.

CouchDB is an open source project run by the Apache Software Foundation; they have some commercial backing from startup Cloudant, who will provide cloud services for CouchDB. With the additional cloud deployment options, Cloudant is aiming to help accelerate CouchDB adoption and make the database even more scalable.

CouchDB presents a new architecture for databases, different from a SQL-based RDBMS. In a relational database, you take your data, split it up and map those data objects into a set of rows and columns. What CouchDB does is to encapsulate all of the data into a single entity, which they call the “document”. It is somehow artificial to map data objects into a table. It’s more organic to keep those as data objects.

CouchDB also allows developers to do without a Web application stack, including middleware, to deliver applications. Many lightweight applications can be fully developed right out of CouchDB. There is an application-building philosophy called the ‘CouchDB app,’ where you take JavaScript, HTML and CSS and put all those pieces directly into the database and then serve the pages and application right from the database — so no middleware layers and no framework.

CouchDB includes its own built-in Web server, although it can work with modern Web frameworks, giving users another option of how to deploy it.

The cloud is a key element for CouchDB, since people are looking to increase their data volumes and leverage the elastic compute capabilities of the cloud. Cloud computing is often used to serve Web-based applications, but it can also be enhanced, e.g. via CloudDB, to support desktop applications as well.

Read more…

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