Database pioneer Michael Stonebraker, the main architect of the Ingres RDBMS and now CTO of VoltDB, decries legacy "old SQL" RDBMS systems. "They are all running very, very old code lines at this point" -- from the 1980s -- he says. "Oracle doesn't scale because of legacy problems." He is backing "NewSQL," which he says preserves SQL and the relational model as well as ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) while offering performance and scalability. NewSQL eliminates the resource-consuming buffer pool by running the database in main memory and removes the need for latching by running on a single thread on a server.
Also joining the fray is Hadoop, which provides for distributed processing of large data sets across computer clusters. It can scale to thousands of machines. It is complemented by the MapReduce programming model and framework for building applications to quickly process large amounts of data in parallel or in clusters.
RDBMSes handle only about 16 percent of data
Although relational systems are feeling the heat from newer technologies, RDBMS systems remain a force in enterprise computing. The RDBMS market accounts for about $35 billion, which includes software licenses, technical support and maintenance, and services, says Forrester analyst Noel Yuhanna. Forrester estimates that 25 percent of business data in enterprises is structured data, of which at least 65 percent is in an RDBMS or other traditional DBMS (so RDBMSes handle at least 16 percent of business data); the remainder is typically in files and text formats.
The remaining 75 percent of business data is a combination of semistructured documents (such as XML, emails, and EDI) and unstructured data (such as documents, pictures, audio, and video). "We estimate about 5 percent of this data resides in RDBMS, the others are in different non-RDBMS and file formats," Yuhanna says.
The RDMBS, Bloor says, "could die without anybody noticing it." Oracle, for example, could acquire newer database technology and switch out its old engine. "It would still be named Oracle, but it wouldn't be Oracle anymore." A column-store database could be a candidate for such an transitional acquisition, he says. Or a relational database product simply could be rewritten from scratch. But if IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle have any plans to modernize their RDBMS, they're not saying.
This story, "NoSQL is eclipsing the old-time RDBMS," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in data management at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
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