Thumbtack is the industry leader in NoSQL consulting services, with engagements across industries from ad tech to financial services. Thumbtack is active in the NoSQL research community, maintains strategic partnerships with a broad array of NoSQL technology vendors, and provides advice and training to companies looking to invest in NoSQL or other non-traditional data storage solutions.
NoSQL has become an industry buzzword in the past several years, but the business cases around it are widely misunderstood. Discussions around it have tended to focus on relatively unimportant technical feature distinctions, while missing the central reason why business are adopting it:
Businesses are seeing significant returns in collecting and analyzing ever more granular data, and NoSQL is the technology that empowers this.
This is not merely a question of gathering logs and looking for better ways of slicing and dicing the data. A new class of internet applications is emerging that can capture more and more about what users are doing, and often make real-time decisions based on low-level user behavior.
If you need to scale your data beyond more than one server, you should be considering NoSQL.
Not every business has this need today, but every business will.
NoSQL databases have traditionally been categorized by technical properties such as “key-value versus document” or “consistent versus available”. It’s helpful to view the landscape by the needs each case is solving. We see the database landscape being divided into two major categories.
Applications that handle user actions in real time or near to it. These tend to involve large numbers of short and relatively simple operations. Most web and supporting internet functionality falls into this category.
Popular NoSQL solutions here include MongoDB, Cassandra, Couchbase, Riak, and Aerospike. There are many more.
Services that provide intelligence based on data. These tend to run offline, involve large quantities of data, and take a long time to run. Business intelligence and reporting are classic examples of this.
Popular choices here include columnar databases like Cassandra and HBase, flavors of Hadoop like those from Cloudera, Hortonworks, and MapR Technologies, and Data Warehouse products such as Vertica and Netezza.
Of course, each of these needs has existed long before NoSQL. What NoSQL brings to the table is the ability to scale such loads across clusters and across data centers, and to do so cheaply, automatically, and with little administrative hassle.
Within each of these spheres, products have carved out various niches, and the appropriate one depends on the business case in question. Scaling strategies (cloud versus bare metal, memory versus SSD), consistency requirements (immediate versus eventual, in data center versus cross data center), transactional needs (none through compare and set through full long-running ACID compliance), and licensing models all inform the decision.
Let us help you to evaluate and make the appropriate choice.
In addition to partnering with leading vendors such as MongoDB, Aerospike, and Couchbase and providing NoSQL consulting to a long list of major industry players, Thumbtack also has an active NoSQL research wing and publishes studies, reports, benchmarks, and other news on the NoSQL industry. Doing these studies correctly is very difficult and time-consuming in practice, so we make available our research and reports as a starting point for organizations looking to explore on our own.
Whether you’re taking an initial look at incorporating NoSQL and can use some guidance, or are a long-time user and needs additional experts to expand and scale your applications, Thumbtack can help. Contact us and let us figure out the best way to help.