Going Anti-RDMBS? Richard Jones gives the lowdown

Richard Jones has an excellent breakdown of your alternatives if you do decide to Anti-RDBMS (or if you just want to use CouchDB). Here’s the table:

Name Language Fault-


Persistence Client




Docs Community
Project Voldemort Java P, R, RR Pluggable: BerkleyDB,


Java API Structured /

blob / text

A Linkedin, no
Ringo Erlang P, R, I Custom on-disk

(append only log)

HTTP blob B Nokia, no
Scalaris Erlang P, R, Paxos In-memory only Erlang, Java, HTTP blob B OnScale, no
Kai Erlang P, R? On-disk Dets file Memcached blob C no
Dynomite Erlang P, R Pluggable: couch, dets Custom ascii, Thrift blob D+ Powerset, no
MemcacheDB C no BerkleyDB Memcached blob B some
ThruDB C++ R Pluggable: BerkleyDB,

Custom, Mysql, S3

Thrift Document oriented C+ Third rail,


CouchDB Erlang R, P? Custom on-disk HTTP, json Document oriented


A Apache, yes
Cassandra Java R, P? Custom on-disk Thrift Bigtable meets


F Facebook, no
HBase Java R, P Custom on-disk Custom API,

Thrift, Rest

Bigtable A Apache, yes
Hypertable C++ R, P Custom on-disk Thrift, other Bigtable A Zvents, Baidu, yes
Legend for Fault Tolerance: P=partitioning; R=Replication; RR=read-repair; I=immutable

If you’re Amazon, you might as well just go with SimpleDB but as Jason Huggins points out on the comments section:

“SimpleDB is tied to one vendor (Amazon) and the only way to use it is on their cloud. If you could download and run SimpleDB on your own server/workstation or on another cloud vendor, then it *might* be viable. FWIW, I’m using CouchDB in production at my startup and really liking it so far. Though I do miss SQL for simple queries sometimes.”

For those students studying DBSCON (Database Concepts), it might be worthwile to look at this Anti-RDBMS implementations and have a hands-on experience by tinkering with it. I recently met ex-Google engineer Franklin Naval and he kept talking about BigTable – which is mentioned in the Glossary and Background reading. If you’re up to it, here’s the PDF and the Scribd link.


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