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No Handwaving Away the DBA Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014 3:17 PM
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Google the "Hype Cycle".

NOSQL is such a broad term that it is next to meaningless.

Not all NOSQL solutions deliver "No single point of failure".
BASE has made people realise how much they miss ACID. Eventually consistent doesn't really work.

These systems emerged to satisfy a niche for companies operating at the bleeding edge. The inventors of the solutions were pretty clear on the use cases for what they had invented. They understood that NOSQL meant Not Only SQL and for the most part it seems that the systems were produced by craftsmen who needed a craftsmans tools.

What appears to have happened is that journeymen think they need craftsmans tools and are building wobbly systems with them.

Of all the NOSQL solutions I see graph databases as making the most sustained inroads into the space of the traditional RDBMS. I had a lot of fun with Neo4J. I genuinely do mean fun, no irony or sarcasm involved. Microsoft have a number of articles on their graph database code named Trinity.

REDIS is a great key-value pair in-memory solution for web session management and anything transient.

I can see from a developer perspective why document stores are currently popular. From an operational perspective I'm sceptical. For MongoDB I'd be looking at TokuMX as a replacement engine. As Mongo doesn't have a shared nothing architecture I'd probably look at Couchbase instead.

RIAK is interesting, especially as it follows the Amazon Dynamo white paper. It's really worth reading the Amazon paper. It'll take you a few attempts to digest it but is worth it in the end. In a lot of cases front-end web development simply wants to retrieve an object by a key value and if that is all you want to do then virtually all the NOSQL solutions fulfill that brilliantly.

Cassandra is one I keep looking at but am not sure I've fully grasped its potential.

Hadoop has a large ecosystem and there is a huge amount of investment in it. I liked the idea of HIVE which effectively lets you use the MySQL dialect of SQL to query structured data in Hadoop.
I believe that Stinger has the same design goals as Impala in terms of adding real-time SQL querying of the Hadoop core.

The big challenge faced by data professionals is to identify the stuff that is merely a fad and the stuff that really will continue to engage after the fruit-fly attention span of early adopters has got bored with it.


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Post #1569095
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 10:06 AM
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I look at all of these as tools. And as a mechanic, a new tools may work in specialized ways, but I do not get rid of all my old tools. Hadoop/NOSQL/Cassandra, etc have specialized uses. Hadoop is great for loading all that unorganized data, unstructured data first, and then adding organization. But SQL is simple, efficient and great.

The more you are prepared, the less you need it.
Post #1569363
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 10:13 AM
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As for the article, the reference to the Oracle DBA was interesting. Every Oracle person I have met seems to suffer from an inferiority complex. When I mention I focus on the Microsoft BI stack, it is always how Oracle is so much better. Ok, if it was common knowledge that it was so much better, why do all of them feel like they need to defend it? Sorry, just ranting. Or are they still lost in the cursor world?

The more you are prepared, the less you need it.
Post #1569367
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 1:54 PM
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David.Poole (5/8/2014)
Google the "Hype Cycle".

NOSQL is such a broad term that it is next to meaningless.

Not all NOSQL solutions deliver "No single point of failure".
BASE has made people realise how much they miss ACID. Eventually consistent doesn't really work.

Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.
Post #1569439
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 2:23 PM
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Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.


It seems that the "eventual" thing is a bit unreliable. It isn't guaranteed and people have started to notice.


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Post #1569449
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 2:29 PM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (5/9/2014)
David.Poole (5/8/2014)
Google the "Hype Cycle".

NOSQL is such a broad term that it is next to meaningless.

Not all NOSQL solutions deliver "No single point of failure".
BASE has made people realise how much they miss ACID. Eventually consistent doesn't really work.

Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.


As usual, the problem is not in the designed functionality but the assumed characteristics. A perfect example being the BitCoin theft from the exchange that got ripped off recently. The balance was not consistent after each withdrawal which allowed multiple withdrawals of the balance which eventually became consistent to a debt e.g. with a balance of $100 you can withdraw $100 and with eventual consistency you might be able to repeat this 10,001 times before it becomes consistent thereby creating a balance of -$1,000,000 so with an outlay of $100 you have made one million dollars clear.

Nice.

The problem was not with the database but with the assumed characteristics. The coder, whether they knew it or not, were relying on nonexistent ACID properties.


Gaz

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Post #1569450
Posted Friday, May 9, 2014 2:35 PM


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David.Poole (5/9/2014)

Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.


It seems that the "eventual" thing is a bit unreliable. It isn't guaranteed and people have started to notice.


I am sure it is not what you meant but it sounds like how most people think. It isn't unreliable in the sense of being defective but it is non-transactional and doesn't have the same levels of repeatability.


Gaz

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Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014 10:20 AM


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Gary Varga (5/9/2014)
David.Poole (5/9/2014)

Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.


It seems that the "eventual" thing is a bit unreliable. It isn't guaranteed and people have started to notice.


I am sure it is not what you meant but it sounds like how most people think. It isn't unreliable in the sense of being defective but it is non-transactional and doesn't have the same levels of repeatability.


Except that's an impression. It often is as fast and reliable as most other RDBMSes. Most of us don't work in high transaction environments, and the ability to scale out cheaply, even at relatively low workloads, is interesting.

It's similar to what Azure is doing with the PaaS stuff. Trying to get people to think smaller databases, that are ACID compliant internally, but rollups, reports, aggregates across your shards are not necessarily consistent. Fascinating stuff.







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Post #1569528
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 6:52 AM
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David.Poole (5/9/2014)

Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.


It seems that the "eventual" thing is a bit unreliable. It isn't guaranteed and people have started to notice.


Are you trying to say that there is no algorithm available today to get the differences in any given list of data shared between two computers connected by a wire?
Post #1569827
Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 7:04 AM


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patrickmcginnis59 10839 (5/12/2014)
David.Poole (5/9/2014)

Whats wrong with eventual consistency? Its not designed to be a drop in replacement for the 'C' in ACID right? Its more like the 'C' in CAP from what I remember.


It seems that the "eventual" thing is a bit unreliable. It isn't guaranteed and people have started to notice.


Are you trying to say that there is no algorithm available today to get the differences in any given list of data shared between two computers connected by a wire?


There are but have been deemed too expensive and unnecessary for what NOSQL was originally intended for. Basically, it is a big misunderstanding with the people applying NOSQL paying too much attention to marketing and not enough to technical documentation.


Gaz

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