NoSQL and NewSQL: A Primer

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NoSQL and NewSQL: A Primer

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Originally Written by Tony Barbagallo

Traditionally, e-commerce businesses have leveraged relational database management systems (RDBMS) to host revenue-critical transactions. MySQL is one of the most well-known RDBMS, and is definitely the most widely-used open-source RDBMS in e-commerce.

But due to the evolution of technology, including the rise of Big Data and cloud computing, MySQL databases appear to have reached their limits. Specifically, MySQL databases are increasingly unable to keep up with the performance and scalability demands of today’s growing e-commerce sites. Similarly, while social and mobile didn’t affect revenue much 10 years ago, both channels are now integral to today’s successful e-commerce initiatives. And unfortunately, accommodating all of this just demands even more performance and scalability from your transactional database!

To fulfill the need for additional database processing speed and storage, the goal is to scale-out (add more commodity nodes to the system) rather than having to scale up (add more CPU or memory to each node). And to handle this need, two new kinds of scale-out databases have emerged: NoSQL and NewSQL. Let’s take a look at what sets them apart.


Built with scale-out architecture, NoSQL databases are able to accommodate large and growing data sets. However, they lack the ability to ensure atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability (ACID) compliance, and thus are unable to provide the transactional integrity necessary for serious revenue environments. Correspondingly, NoSQL shouldn’t be used as the operational database of record on e-commerce sites.

NoSQL databases do, however, have a distributed and fault-tolerant architecture. This makes them useful in situations where unstructured and unpredictable data needs to be handled in a non-transactional manner.


Like NoSQL databases, NewSQL databases leverage the ability to scale-out. NewSQL also guarantees ACID compliance and transactional integrity. And like a bonus for developers, NewSQL preserves the relational model and supports regular SQL transactions as well!

Perfect for e-commerce applications, NewSQL databases scale horizontally to accommodate traffic spikes that generate more transactions and more data. This means: if you have performance issues, just add more commodity nodes, and your performance will scale much better (and less-expensively) than beefing-up each of your in-place nodes.

ClustrixDB: Built with NewSQL

ClustrixDB is a NewSQL-based cloud database. It is designed to scale-out linearly to accommodate an unlimited number of users, transactions and data thanks to the power of massively parallel processing. Database administrators are able to quickly add extra nodes in the cloud to accommodate demand spikes while concurrently ensuring a seamless e-commerce experience for the customer.

On top of that, the database is completely fault-tolerant, which means developers and administrators don’t have to worry about data loss. This frees staff so that they can focus on other mission-critical business functions, and productivity is bolstered as a result.

ClustrixDB can also allow administrators to process real-time analytics data while systems are still operating. This functionality allows them to identify trends and patterns as they are occurring, and augment their strategies accordingly. For example, an administrator might notice that customers who are buying Product A might also buy Product B. They can then adjust a campaign so that when a shopper puts Product A in their cart, Product B is recommended to that person, and vice versa. The quicker that data is on hand, the more likely your business can generate revenue from it.

Ensuring an optimal e-commerce experience is critical to your business’s success, as today’s customers are increasingly impatient and have multiple vendor choices. To learn more about the benefits of ClustrixDB and how it can transform your e-commerce platform, click here to access our white paper “Driving the New Wave of High Performance E-Commerce Applications.”



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