Just mention the word database and you will get people thinking of Relational Database Management System that has existed for more than three decades now. Change is beckoning. New names have entered the market and the competition is now stiffer than ever before. While each might be different in its own way, they have one thing in common; they all focus on big data. In today’s society, data is finding its way to us at such a great speed. Handling, analysing and using this data requires much more than what the traditional relational database management systems were made for.
A whole new world
Until recently, many companies were using a combination of various databases like Oracle Real Application Clusters and SQL server. The increase in speed, volume, and variety of data has rendered such systems less effective and now companies are in search of better alternatives. It’s not just about space but efficiency and scalability. With emergence of big data, companies are now forced to look for refined databases. Although they come in different names, these databases share some common characteristics, some of which include;
• Cost efficiency
These databases use less expensive hardware and as the volume of data increases, it becomes apparent that taking advantage of them costs less than using the traditional RDBMS. To handle the petabytes and exabytes of data flowing in, companies will not spend money acquiring new systems with increase in data.
• Highly scalable
Scaling the conventional Relational Database Management System is more complex and comes with disruption. With big data databases, companies are now able to scale out the easier way. Subsequently, companies are now able to take in bigger data initiatives.
The traditional databases mainly depend on architectural designs that are susceptible to failure. This makes them less reliable fordba consultants who need to comb through huge volumes of data frequently. Big data systems, on the other hand, are capable of distributing data among several resources without failure. This ensures continued availability of database.
• Enhanced performance
New database designs for big data achieve uniform increase in performance with growth in data volume. Improving performance in RDBMSs requires more work and costs more. This makes them unsustainable in handling big data in the long run.
• Highly flexible
In the current corporate world, there is need to quickly adapt to changes. Organisations must be able to adapt to such requirements and develop sustainable solutions to them. Only big data databases provide feasible solutions to such problems and are capable of meeting such demands.
For organisations looking to make better use of big data, seeking for alternatives to RDBMS is a must. The emergence of big data has redefined the database industry, not only in terms of volume but also in complexity.
Change is inevitable. When it beckons, you can either dance to its tune or be swept away by its ever-strong wave. For organisations that have long relied on traditional RDBMSs and other less effective databases, big data demands for more. Playing its rhythm is the best way out.
Sujain Thomas is an experienced DBA consultant working for a Georgia-based IT firm. She spends most of his time enlightening young minds on the latest technology trends.