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SQL 'not going away' due to bigger databases

SQL 'not going away' due to bigger databases

The emergence of the big data trend and the new database requirements this brings with it has seen many businesses considering solutions such as NoSQL in order to improve their operations.

However, it was noted by Monty Widenius, one of the main authors of the original open source MySQL database that this does not mean there is no place for older MySQL deployments in these solutions. He explained in an interview with ReadWrite.com that despite a lot of hype surrounding NoSQL, it will not replace more traditional solutions.

He observed the key drivers towards NoSQL tools are improved performance in terms of faster access to data and fast replication of information across many nodes, as well as greater flexibility to add new columns to databases instantly.

"I think that most of the people who are looking for NoSQL are doing it mostly because it's still 'hype'," Mr Widenius added. "SQL is not going away. NoSQL can't replace it. Almost everyone will need relations (ie, joins) to utilise their data."

He highlighted Twitter as one example, as there was great interest in the firm's solutions a few years ago when a blog post by an employee said MySQL was no longer adequate for the service and the site would have to look for something better, such as Cassandra.

"The current state is that now, three years later, Twitter is still using MySQL as their main storage for tweets. Cassandra was, in the end, not able to replace MySQL," the expert said.

While NoSQL may be well-suited to particularly large databases, such as those used by Google or Facebook, Mr Widenius noted most companies don't have this high level of demand and will also not be able to afford experts to constantly tune and develop their databases.

Therefore, it will be important for each company to determine their own needs and assess whether NoSQL solutions are the best way forward, or if good MySQL management is still a suitable answer to their database requirements.
 

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