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In-Memory SQL Database vs NoSQL (SQL vs NoSQL) | VoltDB
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VoltDB / Why VoltDB? / SQL Database vs NoSQL

SQL Database vs NoSQL

SQL or NoSQL: Which is Right for You?

What to consider when building out architectures

“SQL” is used both as the name of a language and as a type of database. SQL the language is a structured query language designed for managing data in relational database management systems (RDBMS). Relational database management systems are often called in-memory SQL databases since they use the SQL language. Since the mid-1980s, SQL has been a standard for querying and managing RDBMS data sets.

Relational databases continue to provide the foundation for the world’s transactions. Think about all the credit card transactions being handled by mainframes and large UNIX servers in the data centers of financial services companies.

SQL features

  • Rely on relational tables
  • Utilize defined data schema
  • Reduce redundancy through normalization
  • Support JOIN functionality
  • Engineered for data integrity
  • Traditionally scale up, not out
  • Rely on a simple, standardized query language
  • Near universal in adoption

NoSQL Databases

While NoSQL technologies have existed for decades, they didn’t gain popularity until the early 2000s as organizations sought solutions to house massive quantities of big data at rest more cheaply than they could with RDBMSs, and to be able to handle the higher and higher velocity of incoming data. Web-scale business, which proved to be a great challenge to traditional RDBMSs, provided an ideal use case for NoSQL solutions.

While a SQL database is a defined, concrete concept, NoSQL is not. There is enormous variation in technologies that fall under the NoSQL category (though they generally share some characteristics). Thus, NoSQL is a term used for a broad group of data management technologies which vary in features and functionality but which try to solve some key issues of SQL databases.

NoSQL features

  • High performance writes and massive scalability
  • Do not require a defined schema for writing data
  • Primarily eventually-consistent by default
  • Support wide range of modern programming languages and tools

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Whitepaper: SQL vs NoSQL vs NewSQL

What is the Difference Between SQL, NoSQL, and NewSQL?

VoltDB offers customers:

  • The world’s fastest in-memory operational database
  • Fully ACID compliant — data is always correct
  • Supports ANSI SQL
  • Full persistence, intra-cluster and Cross data-center replication — data is never lost
  • Per-event transactions on live streams of data

Is VoltDB right for your application?

VoltDB is the most enterprise-ready, proven NewSQL offering. It combines real-time analytics on flows of data, strong ACID guarantees, familiar SQL data interactivity, and native clustering. For applications that require fast decisions on live streams of data with the speed of NoSQL and strong consistency, VoltDB is the right choice.