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The NoSQL Partition Tolerance Myth

Emin Gün Sirer:

What the NoSQL industry is peddling under the guise of partition tolerance is not the ability to build applications that can survive partitions. They’re repackaging and marketing a very specific, and odd, behavior known as partition obliviousness.

The post presents a very dogmatic and radical perspective on what the requirements of both applications and distributed databases must be. I cannot agree with most of it if only for the reason it’s using the “bank example”.

Dealing with data conflicts is an added complexity for systems where write availability is more important than other requirements. Many NoSQL databases provide the knobs to tune the availability and consistency to the levels required by many applications. Applications can define more fine grained knobs on top of that.

Generalizing a scenario that might require consistent transactional data access to be the canonical example for all distributed systems and ignoring features that are present in (some of ) the NoSQL databases to help applications deal with different scenarios is never going to lead to correct conclusions.

Original title and link: The NoSQL Partition Tolerance Myth (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)