SQL vs NoSQL

SQL has a lot going for it and that’s not going to change for quite a while.  Let’s face it, real big investments are being made every day on products like Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Teradata, Firebird… you get the idea.  WikipediA provides a great comparison of relational database management systems listing over 50 players active in the space today.  They almost all provide ACID properties, Referential Integrity and Transactional support.  Traditional SQL solutions start to run into problems when dealing with extremely large amounts of data, or are faced with unstructured – semi structured data or are asked to run across large clusters of processing units.  There have been a number of solutions developed to handle these scenarios including Hadoop, Cassandra, HPCC, MongoDB… once again you get the idea!

Of course whenever a new technology hits the market the fireworks begin.  Some of the “pure” NoSQL proponents pushed the idea that SQL would shortly hit its end of life.  The arguments continue comparing the virtues of the new technology often taking shoots at good ole SQL.  But, as time marches forward there seems to be more alignment that its not either or but… both.  Realizing SQL has a tremendous following for data query both Hortonworks and Cloudera have recently launched improvements over Hadoop’s Hive with  Stinger and Impala.  Both tools provide “faster” query capability using a SQL like syntax.  An early mover in the space, Hadapt claims to natively integrate SQL with Hadoop.  Even IBM has joined the band and has launched Big SQL with a space 😉  providing SQL like syntax across a Hadoop Cluster. 

Our bet is better tools will continue to evolve, making it easier to glean insights from NoSQL clusters.  Additionally, we look for tighter integration between trusted SQL databases and NoSQL datastores over time.  Our BigSQL distribution and community looks to achieve both these objectives combining the power of Hadoop and PostgreSQL while making it easier to leverage the strengths of BOTH solutions in the real world.