What is NoSQL? Why it’s gaining popularity?

NoSQL database acronym for Not Only SQL is used to identify database solutions which provide different approach to data storage than standard relational databases (query based).

This NoSQL databases are in most cases doesn’t use relational model & runs well on distributed architecture. Many of these solutions are open source and works well with cutting edge technologies.

Today web generates variety of data which is not structured in nature, hence its get difficult to map these data to relation model in many cases. To solve this problem, NoSQL based database system has emerged as potential option to data storage. Moreover the volume of data generated by web cannot be effectively handle on single cluster, which has also made noSQL based databases popular as they run well on multiple clusters.

NoSQL databases are categorized mainly into four categories which include key-value databases, document databases, column family stores, graph databases.

NoSQL is getting popular due to following reason:

  1. Scalability

NoSQL based databases are designed with distributed architecture concept, hence it is easy to scale it by adding multiple clusters to the system. Also this cluster doesn’t needs to be high end servers; NoSQL is designed to work well with low-configuration hardware.

  1. Big Data/Large volume of data

NoSQL works well with big data where large volume of data irrespective of specific data structure being generated by web. NoSQL databases can handle this data fairly easy as compared to standard RDBMS solutions.

  1. Less Administration

Although NoSQL handles large distributed databases it requires less management due to its simple data model, distributed nature and automatic repair options.

  1. Less Expensive

Relative cost per gigabyte storage for NoSQL is much lower than RDMS databases at it relies on cheap hardware as compare to high-end servers. Also, most of the NoSQL based db are open source and provides free version.

  1. Flexible data models

NoSQL virtually can store any kind of data whether it’s structured or unstructured. It can store text, audio, video, graphics or any kind of files.


Undoubtedly NoSQL has gained popularity for last several years due to the emergence of BigData and Cloud. Although NoSQL provides great mechanism in handling unstructured data, it doesn’t mean that it will replace SQL based database systems. System designer has to make selection carefully between SQL and NoSQL database.

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