Recently, I have been reading a lot about NoSQL and in particular the open source cassandra. From my current readings, it does not look like NoSQL is a direct competitor to SQL Server, since they seem to fill separate but closely related niches. Yet, it is a database technology and I could see situations where they might be deployed side by side.
So, I have 3 tightly related questions for the community:
asked Oct 21 '10 at 01:43 PM in Default
Timothy - good question! +1
I am sure that NoSQL has it's place for certain applications like Twitter and the like where data integrity is of much less importance than what a SQL Server DBA may see as a "real" database.
As I understand it NoSQL implementations drop performance killing features like referential integrity in order to make themselves more flexible and scalable - again, something that detracts from it being a "real" database and more a temporary/dispersed data store.
For those reasons, and many more, I don't think that NoSQL will move into a position where it could displace SQL Server. That is if they stay on their current path of development.
I still believe that learning a NoSQL variant can be valuable. You would have an insight into that type of system and it gives you another weapon in your arsenal. On top of that, it is just an interesting technology, so why not!
As to which one is the right one to start with, no idea. Tell me once you have found out! I spend so much time trying to learn SQL Server already, I couldn't find the time for something that (currently) doesn't have any bearing at work.
answered Oct 21 '10 at 01:52 PM
yeah, great question Timothy.
my, largely uneducated, thoughts are:
To expand on that, I would say that as a DBA it is my duty to keep on top of data technologies that might be of use to my employer and to that effect I need to understand NoSQL tech. Not to run it but to know what it can/cant do and whether it can provide a solution to any business need we have. It wont ever replace our accounts or payoll system as we want to make sure that I dont get the CEO's salary rise and so on due to failed/inconsistent transactions but it might do for a website feature or something like that. In essence I can see it beside SQL and/or Oracle in some places but not moving in and taking over. At least not in the short - med term. Other than understanding what they do and roughly how it happens I know none of the products so couldnt advise on one to pick up to learn in depth.
answered Oct 21 '10 at 02:00 PM
If you want to position yourself for better and challenging career 10 years from now, go ahead and start learning it. Even though its a big gamble I can see a scenario where companies deal with enormous volume of data and want to run horizontally scalable databases on commodity hardwares. So keep an eye on it and you might help in the future heavily data driven startups who might be the next facebook, twitter, google, amazon and the likes. As for me I will stick with RDBMS for now:-)
answered Oct 21 '10 at 02:15 PM
I think it's useful to distinguish between NoSQL as an idea versus the collection of products that currently go under that name. In principle replacing SQL with something better ought to have a lot of benefits. It's bound to happen sooner or later and probably sooner than many people would expect. However, none of the current crop of software commonly called NoSQL looks like a serious SQL-beater (unfortunately). Mainly because they mostly eschew the relational model in favour of less useful alternatives.