The Advent of NoSQL

The concept of “NoSQL” (that is, non-relational databases) is more of a phenomenon than you might think. The NoSQL Live conference will take place on March 11, 2010, put on by the people behind MongoDB, a non-relational database.

In June 2009, a number of folks gathered in San Francisco to discuss the various NoSQL technologies (such as Cassandra, Voldemort, CouchDB, MongoDB, and HBase). Johan Oskarsson has an article about the meeting, with videos and presentations from the presenters.

ComputerWorld took note of the event, discussing NoSQL and how and Google are using non-relational databases for their data stores. Likewise, too, Facebook converted to non-relational databases.

Digg posted a nice article that talks about their conversion from MySQL to Cassandra, showing how they came to the point of considering non-relational databases.

Possibly the oldest non-relational database is non other than MUMPS (or M). This includes GT.M (open source) and Intersystems Cache. Long before relational databases came on the scene, MUMPS was running and saving data – and it continues to this day, working hard in finance and healthcare settings.

Over at, they claim to be the Ultimate Guide to the Non-Relational Universe. This may be true; certainly they have an extensive list of links to noSQL articles, and a list of NoSQL events.

The NoSQL world has been covered by Dave Rosenberg, who noted the upcoming NoSQL Live event in his discussion of real-world use of non-relational databases. Dave had reported earlier about the pervasiveness of non-relational databases in the cloud.

Now to go read some more about NoSQL…

Upgrading PostgreSQL

This is an old procedure, which is commonly understood by PostgreSQL administrators. However, if you’ve not done it before, over at the FreeBSD Diary there is a nice article describing how to upgrade the client and the server when moving from one version to the next (such as from 8.3.x to 8.4.x).

The basic thing to remember is that a complete dump of the databases is necessary, with the appropriate reload process. The article describes this process well.

Anybody who is interested in FreeBSD should follow the FreeBSD Diary; this “blog” has been around longer than blogs have been.