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Strategy: NoSQL Everywhere? Not so Fast

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The Trouble With Labels

Sometimes, we need to slow down and sort through the hype, despite pressure to act. A perfect example: NoSQL. The speed with which data is piling up and the rate at which the cost of conventional databases is escalating are pushing people who should know better to consider using NoSQL in situations where it's wholly inappropriate. Simply put, that category includes core enterprise stores of customer and product data and related transactions that must represent a single source of truth and use standard data-access techniques.

Now, we get why IT's intrigued with NoSQL. Just 11% of the 760 respondents to our InformationWeek 2012 State of Database Technology Survey, all of whom are involved with their organizations’ database strategies, say they're very satisfied with licensing costs and terms for their conventional databases. And the broad "NoSQL" label does indeed reflect the main attraction: Often, these systems are open source or quite inexpensive, and they can run on commodity hardware.

The trouble lies with NoSQL's purported open-ended scope. Just because it works well for e-commerce and social networking sites like eBay and Facebook does not make it appropriate for all, or even a majority, of mainstream enterprise use cases. In this report, we'll provide guidelines to help IT teams set up a rational NoSQL policy. (S4790412)

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