Al jaren is de databasemarkt opgesplitst in traditionele relationele databases en new school NoSQL databases. Maar volgens Gartner gaan deze twee werelden richting verdere 'consolidatie'. Of zoals analist Nick Huedecker stelt: "Elke week komt er meer SQL in het NoSQL segment. De term NoSQL wordt steeds minder bruikbaar als categorie."
Yet that promised "consolidation" may not be all that Gartner predicts. If anything, we may be seeing NoSQL databases - rich in flexibility, horizontal scalability, and high performance - don enough of the RDBMS's SQL clothing to ultimately displace the incumbents. But the "NoSQL vendor" most likely to dominate over the long term may surprise you.
NoSQL: Wrong name, right idea
"NoSQL" has always been somewhat of a misnomer, both because it purports to exclude SQL and because it lumps together very different databases under a common framework. A graph database like Neo4j, for example, is completely different from a columnar database like Cassandra.
What they share, however, is a three-fold focus, as Kelly Stirman, CMO at a stealth analytics startup and former MongoDB executive, told me in an interview. In his words, "NoSQL introduced three key innovations that the market has embraced and that the traditional vendors are working to add: 1) flexible data model, 2) distributed architecture (critical for cloud), and 3) flexible consistency models (critical for performance)."
Each element was critical to enabling modern, increasingly cloud-based applications, and each has presented traditional RDBMSes with a host of problems. Yes, most RDBMSes have implemented good enough but not great flexible data models. Yes, they're also attempting flexible consistency models, with varying levels of (non)success. And, yes, they're all trying to embrace a distributed architecture and finding it a brutally tough slog.
Even so, these attempts by the RDBMSes to become more NoSQL-like has led, in the words of DataStax chief evangelist Patrick McFadin in a conversation, to a "great convergence" that ultimately yields "multimodel" databases. Importantly, McFadin continued, this same convergence is taking place among the NoSQL databases as they add various components of the RDBMS in an attempt to hit massive mainstream adoption.
But make no mistake, such convergence is not without its problems.
As Rohi Jain, CTO at Esgyn, describes it:
It is difficult enough for a query engine to support single operational, BI, or analytical workloads (as evidenced by the fact that there are different proprietary platforms supporting each). But for a query engine to serve all those workloads means it must support a wider variety of requirements than has been possible in the past. So, we are traversing new ground, one that is full of obstacles.
This inability to have one data model rule them all afflicts the RDBMS more than NoSQL, Mat Keep, director of product and market analysis at MongoDB, told me: "Relational databases have been trying to keep up with the times as well. But most of the changes they've made have been stopgaps-adding new data types rather than addressing the core inflexibility of the relational data model, for example."
Hierna: Er komt een verrassende winnaar