With the help of search engines, a few analysts’ reports and a bit of time, the fog quickly clears to reveal (another?) new wave coming in the IT industry.
Only this time, we’re talking databases.
Databases? Ok – not the sexiest of subjects – I grant you – but we would do well to note the emerging trend in NoSQL and in open source distributed datastores generally.
Fear not. SQL hasn’t suddenly abdicated its crown, or become the object of sordid revelations about its private life. Far from it. SQL has deservedly won its place in the history of computing, especially for transactional databases.
But apparently not all databases were created the same (all the vendors will tell you that… and show you their glossy marketing brochures to back up their assertions – right?).
Mystery solved - NoSQL means “Not Only” SQL
NoSQL doesn’t mean literally “No” SQL. And it is this “not only” aspect that is causing a bit of a stir. NoSQL databases are created in an entirely different way compared to traditional SQL databases.
In fact there are four main kinds:
I first heard Neo4j explained by Ian Robinson back in February this year at SyncConf. I was somewhat riveted by the capability of a graph database, which is regarded by many as a superset of all the others.
here at Smart421, we have already been working with others on customer engagements, for example with Cassandra one of the leading column data stores and MongoDB, which is arguably the leading document database, overtaking CouchDB.
If you’re a Solution Architect and Technical Architect, you will almost certainly be tracking these and several others.
If you’re a developer, programmer or involved in some capacity in DevOps, you will almost certainly had a play or done something more serious with NoSQL (if not, why not?)
For what it’s worth, I’ve been quite impressed by some I’ve seen. Take Riak, a key-value pair distributed datastore by Basho which, although a comparatively young business, has an impressive management team exported out of Akamai and has already built a strong user base in the United States. Riak looks like it deserves more prominence over here; I’ll stick my neck out and predict it will rise to become major name before too long. Basho will be sponsoring MobDevCon this July where two “Smarties” will be speaking.
Basho will also be organising RICON Europe, a tech led event for those interested in all-things NoSQL which will be coming to London in October (remember – you heard it here first).
NoSQL is on the up – it’s official
As a collective, NoSQL database management systems are on the move and picking up pace. Market analysts are tracking their progress carefully.
Gartner for example has predicted that NoSQL could account for 20 per cent of market penetration as early as 2014, which seems rather astonishing until you see how Gartner arrives at its assumptions. Merv Adrian, ex-Forrester and now Research VP at Gartner (@merv), appears to have done his homework on this and he is seeing NoSQL rise from basically a standing start.
As recently as 2012, Adrian quantified NoSQL Database Management Systems as having a market penetration of 1 per cent to 5 per cent of target audience (Adrian in Lapkin, 2012, pp. 36-38), upgrading his assessment in 2011 of NoSQL having a market penetration of less than 1 per cent of target audience (Adrian in Edjlali and Thoo, 2011, pp. 31-33).
Merv Adrian, and other market watchers, will be well worth listening to both this year and next if you get the chance at a Gartner Event, or if you have a Gartner research subscription perhaps you should request an inquiry call sooner rather than later.
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