Relational Databases vs. NoSQL

By supertech01 | Published August 26, 2015

Readers of this blog are probably quite familiar with SQL databases and have some knowledge of MySQL, Oracle, or SQL Server from Microsoft. These are the leaders in classic relational database systems (RDBMS). In the last few years, NoSQL databases have started to get some traction to solve various business problems using some of its unique attributes over the traditional workhorse in data management, the RDBMS.

Here’s a quick refresher on the differences:

  • SQL databases are table-based databases, whereas NoSQL databases are document or key-value pairs stores. This means that SQL databases represent data in form of tables which consists of some number of rows of data, whereas NoSQL databases do not have standard schema definitions.
  • SQL databases have predefined schema whereas NoSQL databases have dynamic schema for unstructured data.

When to use one or the other:

  • SQL databases are vertically scalable, whereas the NoSQL databases are horizontally scalable. SQL databases are scaled by increasing the horse-power of the hardware. NoSQL databases are scaled by increasing the number of databases servers in the pool of resources to reduce the load.
  • For the type of data to be stored: NoSQL database fit better for hierarchical data storage as it follows the key-value pair way of storing data. As such, NoSQL database are highly preferred for large, simply structured data sets.
  • For high transactional based application: SQL databases are best fit for heavy duty transactional type applications, as it is more stable and promises the atomicity as well as integrity of the data. While you can use NoSQL for transactional apps, it is still not comparable and stable enough in high load, high complexity transactional applications.

Go ahead and check out some of the leading NoSQL solutions out there like Amazon Web Services’ DynamoDB, MongoDB, Redis or Cassandra. With additional questions about database systems, contact Superior Technology online at or by phone at 845-735-3555.


Comments are closed.

Archive by Date