October 13, 2009

If you haven’t heard about NoSQL before, it’s worth looking into. It’s an interesting development in the world of databases, or an interesting label given to a long-running approach to non-databases, depending upon how you want to think about it. The short description of NoSQL is that, instead of turning to existing relational databases, from MySQL to the powerful Oracle, many high-demand applications are using their own storage system. This includes the biggies, like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. By writing a specific storage system for an application, you can greatly improve the amount of data that can be managed and, more importantly, the performance. In other words, instead of using something that’s been designed to work for every situation, create something that’s perfect for your situation. This level of effort certainly isn’t for everyone or every situation, but for those that use databases a lot, and have potentially demanding applications, it’s worth thinking about.

I first heard about NoSQL when I saw this article in Infoworld. You can read about the June NoSQL conference in San Francisco here. There is also a piece of software called NoSQL,