What is an NoSQL Database?

A NoSQL database is a schema free and not relational database RDBMS) which provides a mechanism for distributed data storage and retrieval.

NoSQL, which encompasses a wide range of technologies and architectures, seeks to solve the scalability and big data performance issues that relational databases weren’t designed to address. NoSQL is especially useful when an enterprise needs to access and analyze massive amounts of unstructured data or data that’s stored remotely on multiple virtual servers in the cloud.

Contrary to misconceptions caused by its name, NoSQL does not prohibit structured query language (SQL). While it’s true that some NoSQL systems are entirely non-relational, others simply avoid selected relational functionality such as fixed table schemas and join operations. For example, instead of using tables, a NoSQL database might organize data into objects, key/value pairs or tuples.