DBA Guide to NoSQL

Dive into a DBA's perspective on NoSQL database.

There are different types of NoSQL databases, with the primary difference characterized by their underlying data model and method for storing data. The main categories of NoSQL databases are:

  • Tabular - Also known as wide-column or wide-row stores, these databases store data in rows and users are able to perform some query operations via columnbased access. A wide-row store offers very high performance and a highly scalable architecture. Examples include: Cassandra, HBase, and Google BigTable.
  • Key/Value - These NoSQL databases are some of the least complex as all of the data within consists of an indexed key and a value. Examples include Amazon DynamoDB, Riak, and Oracle NoSQL database. Some tabular NoSQL databases, like Cassandra, can also service key/value needs.
  • Document - Expands on the basic idea of key-value stores where "documents" are more complex, in that they contain data and each document is assigned a unique key, which is used to retrieve the document. These are designed for storing, retrieving, and managing document-oriented information, oftentimes stored as JSON. Examples include MongoDB and CouchDB. Note that some RDBMS and NoSQL databases outside of pure document stores are able to store and query JSON documents.
  • Graph - Designed for highly complex and connected data, which outpaces the relationship and JOIN capabilities of an RDBMS. Graph databases are often exceptionally good at finding commonalities and anomalies among large datasets. Examples include: DataStax Enterprise Graph and Neo4J.
Published: March 2016
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