Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

NoSQL Basics

By Steve Jones,

Last year there was quite a bit of press devoted to the NOSQL movement, emphasizing the scalability and power of this class of databases. They have not been well known, but have been used to power some of the very well known Internet companies out there. Companies like Google, Facebook, and others are using NoSQL databases in places, achieving the scalability that many RDBMS's have struggled to achieve without enormous costs.

I ran across an article that talks about some of the basics of what is classified as a NOSQL database. It's written more for managers, and it does a good job of warning them that NOSQL is not the "answer" to all your performance problems. It's a piece of technology that fits in some places and in some situations.

Should you care about NOSQL? I think you should, if for no other reason than some manager will ask you about it at some point. Or a developer will want to build an application using a NOSQL database. A flat "no" from the data group is counter-productive,  and is not appropriate. If you are going to rationally argue against a new technology, you should have some basic understanding of how it works, what problems it solves, and engage in a logical debate.

There are lots of good NOSQL articles out there, and perhaps the first thing you should learn is that there are different types of technologies for solving different problems. Cassandra is not interchangeable with MongoDB, and Voldemort is different from the other two. None of them is a direct replacement for SQL Server (or another RDBMS), but they do work in different areas. If you've never seen the CAP triangle, take a look at it now.

Many of you are data professionals, and SQL Server specialists, and that's fine. That doesn't mean you shouldn't learn a little something about other technologies, and how they might compare and contrast with SQL Server. Here's a nice basic article from SQL Server Master to get you started.

Steve Jones

The Voice of the DBA Podcasts

Everyday Jones

The podcast feeds are available at Comments are definitely appreciated and wanted, and you can get feeds from there. Overall RSS Feed: or now on iTunes!

Today's podcast features music by Everyday Jones. No relation, but I stumbled on to them and really like the music. Support this great duo at

You can also follow Steve Jones on Twitter:

Total article views: 589 | Views in the last 30 days: 5
Related Articles

How to understand NoSQL Databases

Today we have a guest editorial from Phil Factor that looks at NoSQL databases.


NoSQL is Not the Answer

NoSQL solves some problems in the database world, but not all of them. It's also not an evolution of...


Podcast Announcements

Podcast Feeds


NOSQL- A Quick Overview

Several attendees at the SQLRally were asking about NoSQL (“Not Only SQL”) and its benefits. This ar...


NoSQL Is Not Everywhere

NoSQL has been getting a lot of press in the last year, but it's not necessarily the best platform o...


Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones