Excellent Whitepaper on Databases

The Database Revolution Whitepaper

Dashboard Spy readers are encouraged to read this excellent whitepaper: The Database Revolution, A Perspective on the Database: Where We Came From and Where We’re Going. (This is a direct link to the pdf.)

It’s a great review of the “database revolution” and neatly summarizes the new generation of databases.

Here’s an excerpt:

Introducing the Database Revolution

This paper covers three database topics in significant depth:

  1. How to understand the new generation of databases that have recently emerged in the marketplace. We cover both those sometimes described as NoSQL databases and also column-store databases that are like the traditional relational databases to which we have become accustomed. Our intention is to explain the overall market shift and expansion, and in consequence what the database market looks like today.
  2. Guidance on how to view database workloads and technologies, and how they line up. We attempt to provide rules of thumb that may help the reader determine what class of technology is likely to fit with which workloads.
  3. Guidelines on how to select database technology. This is provided primarily because we expect that many of the readers of this paper will be involved in selecting database products and hence may find such guidelines useful.

A Summary of Findings

This paper is the result of a research program driven by Mark Madsen and Robin Bloor, involving interviews with vendors, interviews with customers, four webcasts, two of which took the format of round tables with other respected database technology analysts, and a
survey of database users.

We reached several key conclusions, listed here in summary:

  • The database market has changed, primarily because of advances in hardware technology which have made it possible to scale to much higher data volumes and workloads than was previously possible.
  • As a consequence, a new generation of databases has emerged, most of which are more scalable than before. There is a business need to take advantage of this improved capability; proved, if by nothing else, by the popularity and adoption of many of the
  • new generation of products.
  • These new products include some databases that implement the relational model of data (we’re terming these products “NewSQL” databases) and some that choose not to do so (NoSQL databases). Having said that, we do not believe the term NoSQL is informative since it covers too wide a range of capability to be useful.
  • We currently see the new generation of databases as being specialized to specific workloads rather than being general purpose or universal products as the relational databases were in their day.
  • We do not believe at this point in time that the older universal database products (grouped under the term “OldSQL”) have become outmoded. They are good at what they do, but they lack scalability for some specialized or very large workloads.