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NoSQL and Big Data Just Hype?
Interview with MySQL Creator


The whole thing with the "new NoSQL movement" started with a blog post from a Twitter employee that said MySQL was not good enough and they needed "something better", like Cassandra. 3 years later, Twitter is still using MySQL.



DZONE, Julia Wunder, Jan 24, 2013

Dmitry Sotnikov, COO of Jelastic, interviewed Michael "Monty" Widenius, the author of the original MySQL database, an open-source DB leader, and currently developing a new MySQL branch called MariaDB.

Dmitry Sotnikov: Would you please tell us a little about the history of NoSQL and Big Data? What are the main reasons that this has become such a topic of interest?

Michael Monty WideniusMichael "Monty" Widenius, The whole thing with the "new NoSQL movement" started with a blog post from a Twitter employee that said MySQL was not good enough and they needed "something better", like Cassandra.

The main reason Twitter had problems with MySQL back then, was that they were using it incorrectly. The strange thing was that the solution they suggested for solving their problems could be done just as easily in MySQL as in Cassandra.

Would you please tell us a little about the history of NoSQL and Big Data? What are the main reasons that this has become such a topic of interest?

I can't find the original article, but I did find a follow up a bit later where it was said MySQL would be dropped for Cassandra.

The current state is that now, 3 years later, Twitter is still using MySQL as their main storage for tweets. Cassandra was, in the end, not able to replace MySQL.

The main reason NoSQL became popular is that, in contrast to SQL, you can start using it without having to design anything. This makes it easier to start with NoSQL, but you pay for this later when you find that you don't have control of your data (if you are not very careful).

So, the main benefits (at least before MariaDB) of most NoSQL solutions are:

  • Fast access to data (as long as you can keep everything in memory)
  • Fast replication / data spread over many nodes.
  • Flexible schema (you can add new columns instantly).

...

What do you personally think about the future of Big Data? Your predictions?

I think that most of the people who are looking for NoSQL are doing it mostly because it's still 'hype'. Most companies don't have massive amounts of data, like Facebook and Google, and they will not be able to afford to have experts to tune and constantly develop the database.

SQL is not going away. NoSQL can't replace it. Almost everyone will need relations (i.e., joins) to utilize their data.

Still, there are places where NoSQL makes sense. I think, in the future, you will see more combined SQL and NoSQL usage.

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