SQL vs NoSQL: The Pros and Cons

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    Posted November 5, 2018

    Big data is a word which is very common in the modern day with every industry giving it a lot of importance. It is simply because of this exponential increase in data that every organization is paying attention to data management. It is for this reason that debates often get heated when it comes to SQL vs NoSQL.

     

    With over four decades of presence, Structured Query Language (SQL) works with relational database management systems (RDBMS). It is the traditional way of creating databases and managing large volumes of data. MySQL, an open-source DBMS is still the most popular database management system and drives large organizations like Google, Twitter, and even Facebook. Some other SQL based DBMS include Oracle and SQL Server.

     

    But owing to the increasing demand for data and better performance, organizations are testing new technologies for database management. This is the reason NoSQL has become a popular choice in the last few years. As the name suggests, NoSQL is for data that is ‘Not only for SQL’. Thus, NoSQL is table less which enables it to handle multiple data types.

     

    Despite NoSQL existing since the early 1960s, it is only because of options like MongoDB and HBase that it has gained traction. So, with this sudden influx of user base, it has become important to analyze the SQL vs NoSQL argument based on two major factors: Performance and Security.

     

    SQL vs NoSQL Performance

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    RDBMS maybe the traditional solution to database management but it is not enough to end the SQL vs NoSQL performance debate. With the ever-increasing complexity of the data and use of multiple sources, users often tend to use Object-relational mapping (ORM) tools to create a detailed analysis of multiple sources of data. This will eventually hit the system performance due to increasing data load (especially from continually increasing sources).

     

    Now, the effect on performance might not show up on smaller testing environments but will hit the users during expansion. One way to solve this problem is by upgrading hardware equipment to support more load. This is where NoSQL comes into the picture. It can help avoid the upgrade through its ‘scale-out’ model. With this, it will add new servers to the cluster thus eradicating the need to purchase new equipment with larger memory. Also, NoSQL supports a denormalized data model which allows all the information to be stored in a single record. And since the multi-row transaction is not a mandate today, updating multiple rows is not required. This puts less load on the system thus giving a boost to the performance.

     

    Thus, despite traditional beliefs and myths, NoSQL has a good argument to win the SQL vs NoSQL performance debate. With the evolving process of data, it offers exactly what is required to scale up without affecting the performance.

     

    SQL vs NoSQL Security

     

    Any database security works on the model of CIA i.e. confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This means the data is available to the authorized users and modification of the data is accessible only to the ones who have been authorized. This model has recently sparked off a conversation about the SQL vs NoSQL Security.

     

    SQL based Relational Database management systems follow ACID principle. It includes Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability. While basic RDBMS security ensures user-level permissions for control of stored procedures, support for row and field access control and an encrypted communication channel, the ACID principle is more common on enterprise solutions such as SQL Server and Oracle.

     

    When it comes to security NoSQL follows the BASE principle which stands for Basically Available, Soft State and Eventually consistent. This implies that rather than updating after every transaction, a collective update of transactions takes place after a fixed interval. This update is enough to maintain a consistency. This means users might see different snapshots as they last appeared giving rise to the ‘Race condition’ because of which possibility of errors increases. Owing to the lack of schema in NoSQL one cannot segregate permission in a table. This also means it lacks integrity, confidentiality, and little security for fast access to data.

     

    Thus, because of its enterprise solutions and traditional approach SQL has an upper hand over NoSQL in the SQL vs NoSQL Security debate.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Looking at the two most important factors for any database management system we have come to the conclusion that achieving the best of both worlds is not possible in all aspects. The users need to analyze their requirements and act accordingly.

     

    While SQL has been around for longer and is a favourite of the developers it will not be able to match the performance features that a NoSQL system will offer. At the same time, to be able to expand with NoSQL to get better performance, security will have to be compromised.

     

    Hence, the SQL vs NoSQL argument will be ever going but if the users understand their requirements it will be easier to realize that it will only be answered based on their set of question regarding their product.

     

    We are experts in designing databases and we can help you to chose the right one based on your needs. Get in touch with us to know more.

     

     

     


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