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11 cutting-edge databases worth exploring now

Peter Wayner | Sept. 22, 2015
From document-graph hybrids to ‘unkillable’ clusters, the next generation of databases offers intrigue and innovation.

InfluxDB

Some databases want to store all of the information in the world. InfluxDB merely wants the time-series data, the numbers that come in an endless stream. They might be log files from a website or sensor readings from an experiment, but they keep coming and want to be analyzed.

InfluxDB offers a basic HTTP(s) API for adding data. For querying, it has an SQL-like syntax that includes some basic statistical operators like MEAN. Thus, you can ask for the average of a particular value over time and it will compute the answer inside the database without sending all of the data back to you. This makes building time-series websites easy and efficient.

Clustrix

Clustrix may not be a new product anymore -- it's up to Version 6.0 -- but it still calls itself part of the NewSQL revolution because it offers automatic replication and clustering with much of the speed of an in-memory database. The folks behind Clustrix have added plenty of management tools to ensure the cluster can manage itself without too much attention from a database administrator.

Perhaps it makes more sense to see the version number as a sign of maturity and experience. You get all of the fun of new ideas with the assurance that comes only from years of testing.

NuoDB

If you have data to spread around the world in a distributed network of databases, NuoDB is ready to store it for you with all the concurrency control and transaction durability you need. The core is a "durable distributed cache" that absorbs your queries and eventually pushes the data into a persistent disk. All interactions with the cache can be done with ACID transaction semantics -- if you desire. The commit protocol can be adjusted to trade off speed for durability.

The software package includes a wide variety of management tools for tracking the nodes in the system. All queries use an SQL-like syntax.

VoltDB

Some databases store information. VoltDB is designed to analyze it at the same time, offering "streaming analytics" that "deliver decisions in milliseconds." The data arrives in JSON or SQL, then stored and analyzed in the same process, which incidentally is integrated with Hadoop to simplify elaborate computation. Oh, it also offers ACID transactional guarantees to the storage.

MemSQL

RAM has never been cheaper -- or faster -- and MemSQL is ready to make it easy to keep all of your data in RAM so that queries can be answered faster than ever. It's like a smart cache, but can also replicate itself across a cluster. Once the data is in RAM, it's also easy to analyze with built-in analytics.

The latest version also supports geospatial data for both storage and analysis. It's easy to create geo-aware mobile apps that produce analytical results as the apps move around the world.

 

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