Many of the new online and device-oriented application models require a high degree of operational and development agility such as unlimited elastic scale and flexible data models. The nascent NoSQL market is aiming to address these requirements but is extremely fragmented, with many competing vendors and technologies. Programming, deploying, and managing NoSQL solutions requires specialized and low-level knowledge that does not easily carry over from one vendor’s product to another. The SQL market on the other hand has a high level of maturity and at least conceptual standardization, but relational database systems were not originally designed for these requirements.
However, in contrast to common belief, the question of big versus small data is orthogonal to the question of SQL versus NoSQL. While the NoSQL model naturally supports extreme sharding, the fact that it does not require strong typing and normalization makes it attractive for “small” data as well. On the other hand, it is possible to scale relational SQL databases.
In this presentation, I will provide a short introduction to some architectural patterns that SQL-based solutions have been using to achieve scale and operational agility, contrast them with the NoSQL paradigms and show how SQL can be augmented with NoSQL paradigms at the platform level by using SQL Azure Federations as an example. I will also show how NoSQL offerings can benefit from the lessons learned with SQL.
What this all means is that NoSQL, BigData and SQL are not in conflict, like good and evil. Instead they are sometimes overlapping, but often complementary solutions that benefit from common paradigms addressing different requirements and can and will coexist.
Michael Rys, earned his PhD at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Database Systems and did post-doctoral research into semistructured data and information integration at the Stanford University Database group. Ever since he left academia, he has worked at Microsoft as a program manager specializing in Database Systems, SQL and Beyond Relational Data and Services scenario that includes unstructured and semi-structured data management, Search, Spatial, XML and now NoSQL paradigms. He also serves as Microsoft representative to the W3C XQuery working group and the ANSI SQL standards committee. He has presented at many database conferences including VLDB, SIGMOD, SQLPASS, NoSQLNow and now the Strata conference. You can find several of his webcasts and presentations online and he can be followed at @SQLServerMike (when he finds time to tweet). In his spare time, he enjoys getting outdoors with his family enjoying Pacific Northwest hikes and ski slopes, some of which remind his of his native Switzerland.
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