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Important questions

What type of datastore is this ?

  • relational
  • key-value
  • columnar
  • document-oriented
  • graph

What was the driving force ?

  • RDBMS databases arose in a world where query flexibility was more important than flexible schemas
  • Column-oriented datastores were built to be well suited for storing large amounts of data across several machines, while data relationships took a backseat

How do you talk to it ?

  • command line interface
  • script
  • graphical interface

What makes it unique ?

  • querying on arbitrary fields
  • indexing for rapid lookup
  • some support ad hoc queries; For others, queries must be planned
  • Is schema a rigid framework enforced by the database or merely a set of guidelines to be renegotiated at will

How does it perform ?

  • Does it support sharding
  • What about replication?
  • Does it distribute data evenly using consistent hashing, or does it keep like data together ?
  • Is this database tuned for reading, writing, or some other operation ?
  • How much control do you have over its tuning

How does it scale ?

  • Talking about scalability without the context of what you want to scale to is generally fruitless
  • Whether each datastore is geared more for
  • horizontal scaling (MongoDB, HBase, Riak),
  • vertical scaling (Postgres, Neo4J, Redis),
  • something in between