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Shifting From a Traditional Database to a NoSQL Database


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Data is inexorably becoming a more important aspect of business. No longer just for the data scientists, data is making its way to the board room and becoming a key factor in executive decision-making as well. To explain the benefits of NoSQL database technology offers, David Gorbet, vice president of engineering at MarkLogic, will deliver a presentation at Data Summit 2015 on moving from an RDBMS view of the data world to a NoSQL view in order to leverage modern data models in applications.

Data Summit 2015 will take place on Tuesday, May 12, and Wednesday, May 13, with preconference workshops on Monday, May 11, at the New York Hilton Midtown.

NoSQL offers advantages over RDBMS technologies, said Gorbet. NoSQL offers the ability to process unstructured data, and schema-less storage.  With the evolving data environment, NoSQL allows for flexibility in the scaling model and the data model.  At the same time, this does not mean that RDBMSs are going to become extinct. “RDBMS aren’t going away any time soon. Just as the mainframe is still around, there will be plenty of RDBMS-based applications. There are a lot of scenarios for which RDBMS technology is very well suited. But there are more than a few applications that are ‘shoehorned’ into an RDBMS even though that’s not the best fit for them simply because until recently there was very little alternative,” said Gorbet.

 “Some of those applications will likely be re-platformed on an enterprise NoSQL foundation. In addition, many new IT projects involve cross-silo data integration, and that’s very hard to do within the relational model. An Enterprise NoSQL DBMS can complement existing RDBMS data silos by unlocking the data that would otherwise be locked up in application-specific RDBMS systems,” he noted.

An industry-standard answer to the question of  which factors have been driving forces for new technologies and solutions, has been the sheer volume of data. While this is true, the answer to that question is not as simple as the increase in data over the past few years, emphasizes Gorbet.

“The real driving force behind new approaches to data management is not the sheer volume of data, but the complexity and variety of data. To gain advantage from data, you need to be able to look across multiple silos and leverage data from multiple sources. Some of those sources are in-house, and some from outside. Some you have control over, and some you don’t. Some are unstructured, or contain some unstructured component that’s hard to model in an RDBMS, but even if they’re all extremely structured feeds coming from relational sources, it’s hard to build a relational model that combines them effectively,” he noted.  “In addition, the speed with which requirements change is unprecedented, and this means new types of queries on existing data, integration of new data sources, or changes in schema for existing data sources. When you have multiple streams of data, all changing all the time, building new schemas, indexing strategies, rebuilding your database, and updating your ETL jobs just takes too much time and effort.”

Gorbet’s presentation at Data Summit is titled “Moving From a Traditional Database to a NoSQL Database.”

“I’ve been talking about NoSQL and new approaches to data management for years, but mostly it’s been to very early adopters who have a high-stakes project that just can’t get done with relational technology,” says Gorbet. “Lately, I’ve seen a lot more mainstream interest, and it seems that the broader IT world is starting to think about how they can leverage new technologies to make a difference in their organizations. It’s great to see a groundswell of creativity and innovation.”

Gorbet will be joined by Nikita Ivanov, CTO and founder of GridGain Systems, who will deliver a presentation on “In-Memory Computing for Data Processing.”

Gorbet and Ivanov's session, titled “Taking Advantage of New Database Technologies,” starts at 3:15 pm on Tuesday, April 12.

For more information on Data Summit, go here.


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