For a long time, relational database management systems have been the only solution for persistent data store. However, with the phenomenal growth of data, this conventional way of storing has become problematic.
To manage the exponentially growing data traffic, largest information technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Yahoo have developed alternative solutions that store data in what have come to be known as NoSQL databases.
Some of the NoSQL features are flexible schema, horizontal scaling and no ACID support. NoSQL databases store and replicate data in distributed systems, often across datacenters, to achieve scalability and reliability.
The CAP theorem states that any networked shared-data system (e.g. NoSQL) can have at most two of three desirable properties:
• consistency(C) - equivalent to having a single up-to-date copy of the data
• availability(A) of that data (for reads and writes)
• tolerance to network partitions(P)
Because of this inherent tradeoff, it is necessary to sacrifice one of these properties. The general belief is that designers cannot sacrifice P and therefore have a difficult choice between C and A.
In this seminar two NoSQL databases are presented: Amazon's Dynamo, which sacrifices consistency thereby achieving very high availability and Google's BigTable, which guarantees strong consistency while provides only best-effort availability.