The General Database Platform

  • I realize that I'm getting obsolete regarding selecting tools, but my gut feel is that I would try to stay away from specialized platforms if it is at all possible.  I would want to be sure that there is not a way to implement what is needed without resorting to specialized tools.  Specialization potentially loses generally needed features and capabilities, and could lead to the introduction of design issues in other areas.  I would also venture a guess that specialized tools may tend to be more expensive, have a shorter life span and be more difficult to maintain.

    Admittedly I have little to no experience with selecting and using such tools, but in 42 years of IT work I don't recall ever finding a 'you can't get there from here' situation.  Then there is always the consideration that committing to specialized tools can also mean committing to specialized personnel to support them.

    And then sometimes maybe we really need to sit back, relax, and question 'Do we really need to do this?'

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was the day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • I think it's more a "is there a better way to do this?" question.

    Do you use a screwdriver, a Philips bit in a drill or an impact driver? Yes, depending on what/where. In databases, same thing. Would I implement full-text search in SQL Server? Unlikely. Can I? Yes, but Elasticsearch or Lucerne work much better. I'd deal with a slightly "eventual consistent" movement of limited data.

    Same for other some other problem domains. High speed caching for session stuff I want in a db. Not SQL Server. It doesn't quite scale at high levels. Easier to use CosmosDB or Redis for this stuff and persist back the longer term values in SQL Server when ready.

     

  • "Do you use a screwdriver, a Philips bit in a drill or an impact driver? Yes, depending on what/where. "

    Wow, you hit close to home on that one.  My experience, especially trying to remove Phillips screws, has never been good using power or forceful tools.  It is really hard trying to remove a stripped-out Phillips even resorting to good old vice-grips trying to grasp the head.  Seems that even using the ratchet-release feature putting the screws in gives me a choice of it failing to go all the way in, or the bit actually damaging the head so I can't get it out.  But I can get lots of blisters using the old screwdriver.

    Rick

    One of the best days of my IT career was the day I told my boss if the problem was so simple he should go fix it himself.

  • All depends on the job. as I've built horse feeders, driving 30-40 screws into 2by material, an impact driver is a necessity. Doing stuff inside the house, hand tools work best most of the time.

  • There are NoSQL databases out there that specialize in doing stuff like: serving high volume JSON document reads (CosmosDB / MongoDB), data warehousing (Snowflake, Azure Synapse), graph querying, website caching (Redis, Memcached), etc.

    They perform at much higher level than SQL Server, for basically three reasons: they store the data in the format in which it is queried, they leverage distributed nodes, and they don't even try implement all the rules surrounding transactional isolation.

    Where I work, we leverage SQL Server, Azure SQL, CosmosDB, Redis, Snowflake more recently - and maybe something else I'm not  even aware of.

    So, I'm on the DBA team, and there may actually be database platforms in use that I'm not aware of. Why? Because some of these NoSQL databases are really just tools for staging data that: transforming data for import, middle tier caching for web and mobile applications, or data extracted from SQL Server for the purpose of analytics and data science. So, it's outside the scope of database administration.  You don't really need to know Jack about all the data processing trades.

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

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