InfoWorld's Test Center picks the best open source software for agile infrastructures in 2011
So your boss gives you some data. You could call up the database vendors, cut a big check, and store it all with a transaction. The database vendors have added enough belts and suspenders so that you can be almost certain that your boss's data is sitting where your boss can get it, almost certainly assuring that your boss will pay your check. This was your father's solution.
It worked well until the recent flood of trivial status updates overloaded the new social apps. A database that can handle that endless stream of jokes is either too slow or too expensive. Thus, the NoSQL movement was born, producing a number of nonrelational databases that attempt to speed things up by tossing away a few of the guarantees offered by the old-school databases. NoSQL is your solution.
Gluster may be the solution for your kids or your grandparents. It throws away the entire idea of a database, insisting you store your data in what your grandfather called the file system. The current generation may not realize this, but there's an entire layer of code in the operating system designed to take a block of bits and store them where they'll be OK even if the power goes out.
Gluster takes this layer and arranges for multiple machines on the network to synchronize their files in a global name space. You can hand your bits off to this file system and Gluster will arrange for it to be backed up across a cloud of machines. There's no talk about tables, schemas, or pairs of data -- just blocks of bits. It makes storage simpler.
The Bossies 2011 index:
This slideshow, "Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source data center and cloud software," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in data center, cloud computing, and open source at InfoWorld.com.