The Rise of NoSQL and Why it Should Matter to You

The Rise of NoSQL and Why it Should Matter to You

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The Rise of NoSQL

This database is used when companies and enterprises develop a need to access and analyze large amounts of unstructured data or the data stored in multiple virtual servers in the cloud. There is no specific definition for what NoSQL is, but a set of common observations can describe it: Not using the relational model

What is NoSQL?

NoSQL is a type of database management system that is designed to handle large amounts of unstructured and semi-structured data, as opposed to traditional relational databases that work with structured data. NoSQL databases do not use the SQL language for querying data and do not follow the strict structure and relationships of relational databases. Instead, NoSQL databases use a variety of data models, such as document-based, key-value, column-based, and graph-based, to store and retrieve data. NoSQL databases are highly scalable, can handle high volumes of data and traffic, and are suitable for use in applications that require real-time data processing and fast access to data. Examples of NoSQL databases include MongoDB, Cassandra, and CouchDB.

There is no specific definition for what NoSQL is, but a set of common observations can describe it:

  • Not using the relational model
  • Running well on clusters
  • Mostly open-source
  • Built for the 21st century web estates
  • Schema-less

The Types of NoSQL

There are several types of NoSQL databases, including:

Document databases:

Store data as documents, where each document can have a different structure.

Examples: MongoDB, CouchDB

Column-oriented databases:

Store data in columns instead of rows.

Examples: Apache Cassandra, Hbase

Key-value databases:

Store data as key-value pairs, where the key is used to retrieve the value.

Examples: Redis, Riak

Graph databases:

Store data as nodes and edges in a graph structure, designed to handle complex relationships. Examples: Neo4j, Amazon Neptune

Time-series databases:

Specialized databases designed to store and retrieve time-stamped data efficiently.

Examples: InfluxDB, TimescaleDB

Why Choose NoSQL?

NoSQL databases are chosen over traditional relational databases (SQL) for several reasons, including:


NoSQL databases can handle large amounts of unstructured and semi-structured data, making them ideal for large-scale, distributed systems.


NoSQL databases do not enforce a strict schema, allowing for flexible and dynamic data modeling.


NoSQL databases are optimized for read-heavy and write-heavy workloads, making them faster and more efficient than traditional SQL databases for certain use cases.


NoSQL databases are often open-source and can be run on commodity hardware, making them more cost-effective than commercial SQL databases.

Cloud compatibility:

Many NoSQL databases were designed to run in a cloud environment, making them ideal for cloud-based applications.

However, it’s important to note that NoSQL databases may not be suitable for all use cases and may require a different skill set for management and administration compared to traditional SQL databases.

The Rise of NoSQL

The rise of NoSQL can be attributed to several factors, including:

Increased data volume:

With the growth of the internet and the increasing amount of data generated by individuals and organizations, traditional relational databases (SQL) struggled to handle the volume, velocity, and variety of data.

Big data:

The rise of big data analytics and the need to process large amounts of data quickly drove the adoption of NoSQL databases that could handle high volume, distributed, and unstructured data.

Cloud computing:

The growth of cloud computing and the need to scale quickly and inexpensively led to an increase in the use of NoSQL databases, which are well-suited for cloud environments.

Mobile and web applications:

The growth of mobile and web applications, which generate vast amounts of data in real-time, drove the need for databases that could handle real-time data processing and storage.

Microservices architecture:

The rise of microservices architecture, where multiple services work together to form a larger application, led to an increase in the use of NoSQL databases that could handle different types of data in different ways.

Overall, the rise of NoSQL databases reflects a shift in the way organizations store and manage data, as traditional relational databases are no longer the only option for handling the increasing volume and complexity of data.

Information given by techrepublic showed the popularity of databases in March 2013 – 2014 is as follows.


Oracle and the SQL server, which is not shown among this data, remains roughly constant as well as the PostgreSQL.

But the former poster child of open source keeps sinking.

Once added to this, is the jobs data and the other measures that are of interest to databases, like the DB Engines ranking, there is still an increase in the top NoSQL databases.


Taking away the trends and only looking at the numbers you will see that NoSQL still has a long way to go, however they are in the right direction. The traditional databases like Oracle, MySQL, and the other relational databases are still taking a little bit of a beating.


These stats show an inclination towards the importance and the need companies give to the database management skill which is directly attributed to the increasing popularity and the growth of big data.

Looking into the future

Some trends that are likely to continue include:

Increased adoption:

As organizations continue to generate and collect more data, the use of NoSQL databases is likely to continue to grow.

Hybrid approach:

Many organizations are likely to adopt a hybrid approach, using both NoSQL and SQL databases to meet their different data storage and processing needs.

Integration with AI/ML:

NoSQL databases will likely play a larger role in AI/ML applications, as they provide scalable and flexible data storage options for the large and diverse data sets used in these fields.

Focus on security:

With the increasing amount of sensitive data being stored in NoSQL databases, security will become a larger concern, and NoSQL databases will need to incorporate more robust security features to protect data.

Emergence of new use cases:

As NoSQL databases continue to mature and evolve, new use cases for NoSQL databases are likely to emerge, making them increasingly useful for a wider range of applications.

Overall, the future of NoSQL databases looks bright, as they continue to meet the growing data storage and processing needs of organizations in a fast-paced and rapidly evolving technological landscape.


Q1. What is NoSQL?

NoSQL stands for “not only SQL” and refers to a non-relational database management system that does not use the traditional SQL language for data storage and retrieval. NoSQL databases are designed to handle large amounts of unstructured data, such as text, images, and social media data.

Q2 What are some popular NoSQL databases?

Some popular NoSQL databases include:

  • MongoDB
  • Cassandra
  • CouchDB
  • Redis
  • Neo4j

Q3. What is the future of NoSQL databases?

The future of NoSQL databases looks bright, as more and more organizations are adopting NoSQL databases to handle the growing amounts of unstructured data. NoSQL databases are expected to continue to evolve and improve, with a focus on providing better scalability, performance, and data consistency. Additionally, the increasing popularity of cloud computing is expected to drive the growth of NoSQL databases, as cloud providers offer managed NoSQL databases as a service.

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