Why businesses should be paying attention to NoSQL in 2014

TRP: How do you see areas like telecoms taking on NoSQL?

BB: I see the telcos absolutely needing the power of NoSQL for a variety of reasons:

Always-On: The amount of data points that the telco's need to consume is astounding. They're one of the top data generation industries in the market because of all the data points they need to capture. If the system is down or slow -- even for milliseconds -- it creates a backlog such that the system cannot catch up. They *must* start embracing fully distributed ways of dealing with ever increasing data flows.

Messaging: The backbones for messaging architectures are some of the most demanding in the world. Openwave Messaging, a DataStax customer, provides messaging services for half of the top tier telcos. A few years ago while using a relational database, they experienced a critical failure that left 800,000 subscribers without email access.

They activated their experimental Cassandra cluster and regained operations within 20 minutes and have migrated over to DataStax Enterprise full time. They haven't experienced downtime since.

New business opportunities will emerge as our personal devices become a bigger and bigger part of our daily lives. The telcos must have the internal database infrastructure ready to handle the launch of massively successful new services to customers. If the infrastructure isn't there, massive market share will be squandered.

TRP: Databases are a dry subject – will corporate IT teams look at NoSQL this year, or will they stick with Oracle?

BB: Let me give you an analogy… when I played football in college, I was an offensive lineman. That position doesn't have the flash of, say, a wide receiver. That is, not until your $80M quarterback gets injured because a lineman didn't do his job -- then nobody wants to talk about anything else!

Our job at DataStax is to deliver the Cassandra database in a way that does amazing things with mind-bending performance, and yet have the database remain a "dry" topic. When we do that, it means we're doing our job because there are no crises to talk about and applications are humming along!

To answer your question specifically, IT departments are the ones who will ultimately take these technologies used by the various application teams and make them standard inside their organizations. That is a very useful thing for numerous reasons, so IT has an important role to play going forward as databases like Cassandra propagate within companies.

TRP: Where do you think the next big challenge for IT will come from?

BB: Everyone faces a challenge of scale because data is growing so quickly. Whether you are a startup looking to grow or an established company that is reacting to market forces, IT is critical to your success.

Being able to keep pace with huge growth in consumer demand and application traffic is essential. Alongside this, there has to be an appetite for working in closer partnership with business around their needs. This is that age-old problem of how to get past IT being seen as a straight cost center; it needs to be a valuable partner in a business' success.

TRP: What do you think will be the biggest success opportunity for IT this year, and what will flatter to deceive?

BB: If IT can proactively approach the business with the infrastructure required to handle the demands and SLA's of the business application teams, they will be nothing short of rock stars within the company. Most application teams do not want to own the infrastructure of their application, but often they see IT as slowing them down. It is a tough problem for myriad reasons, but it is a huge opportunity for IT to be seen as truly a catalyst to the business.