Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Cloud and the RDB

One of the promises of the Cloud is limitless disk storage. This storage is often delivered by massively distributed data engines. The scalability and simplicity of these engines comes with some compromises, which tend to surprise people with relational database backgrounds. Tony Blain at RWW does a fantastic job explaining the differences, threats and opportunities. This is an architecture area of Cloud Computing where I find the most concerns and confusion. A superficial understanding of the application requirements can lead to performance bottlenecks or costly architecture mistakes. Some applications will be able to use value pair data stores, others might need to deploy a partitioned row/column relational database while others might need a combination. Tony does a great job outlining the high level differences. The decision you make can affect your Cloud partners, your team's skill set and your development approach. When looking at data repositories for your cloud application choose the deep dive; it will be time well spent.

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