How Do NoSQL Databases Work?

NoSQL databases power some of the biggest sites. They’re fast and super scalable but how do they work?

Behind-the-scenes, they use a keyspace to distribute your data across multiple servers or partitions. This allows them to scale horizontally across many thousand servers.

NoSQL databases can operate in multiple modes: as key-value store, document store or wide column store.

You can run your own NoSQL database with software like Cassandra, CouchDB, MongoDB or Scylla. You can also use a cloud version like AWS DynamoDB, Google Cloud BigTable or Azure CosmosDB.

Sources

This video wouldn’t be possible without the work of others. Here are the sources I’ve used during my research & script writing:

NoSQL. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NoSQL

DeCandia, G., Hastorun, D., Jampani, M., Kakulapati, G., Lakshman, A., Pilchin, A., Sivasubramanian, S., Vosshall, P., & Vogels, W. (2007). "Dynamo: amazon's highly available key-value store". ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review, 41(6), 205–220.

"AWS re:Invent 2018: Amazon DynamoDB Deep Dive: Advanced Design Patterns for DynamoDB (DAT401)". (2018). Amazon Web Services. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaEPXoXVf2k

Amazon DynamoDB. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_DynamoDB

Apache Cassandra. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apache_Cassandra

Barr, J. (2019). Amazon Prime Day 2019 – Powered by AWS. https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-prime-day-2019-powered-by-aws/

Smallcombe, M. (2020). "SQL vs NoSQL: 5 Critical Differences". https://www.xplenty.com/blog/the-sql-vs-nosql-difference/