NoSQL Optimization with Rick Houlihan

NoSQL databases provide an interface for storing and accessing data that allows the user to work with data in an “unstructured” fashion. SQL databases require the data in the database to be “normalized,” meaning that each object in the entire database has an entry (or a null value) for each field. One advantage of NoSQL is that the different objects are “denormalized,” meaning that different objects in the database can have unique fields.

There is a widely held belief that NoSQL databases do not scale, or that there is some significant penalty that a developer will pay for using a NoSQL database as soon as their app becomes popular. The truth is much more subtle than that. 

NoSQL databases can perform as well as or better than SQL databases if the developers know the query patterns that their applications make. SQL databases will be a better choice in the condition where the database has a very wide spectrum of access patterns. But in many cases, an application has a narrow range of different requests for the database, and a NoSQL database can perform very well if the database is structured and optimized for these requests.

Rick Houlihan is an executive with Amazon Web Services who works with database teams and engineers to optimize their products and database infrastructure. Rick joins the show to discuss the tenets of NoSQL and describe the fundamental contrast between NoSQL and SQL database limitations.


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