Reply to post: The advantage of relational databases…

Get tooled up before grappling with Google's Spanner database

Charlie Clark Silver badge

The advantage of relational databases…

… is that they're based on relational algebra and thus have a solid mathematical foundation. Removing redundancy via normalisation gives the reliability and flexibility of predicate logic. JOINs themselves are an artefact of SQL, which is itself is not relational – there is no room in relational algebra for NULL – and gets a lot of things wrong as a result. Modern relational databases can provide incredible performance (things like Swarm64 are aiming for 30 m rows/s @ 40 byte writing) which should be sufficient for most transactional workloads but this requires local clients. Worldwide replication will inherently introduce some latency. Chances are, however, that if you're hitting those kind of limits you already know these things. Unless you're doing NoSQL because "webscale" and wondering why your data keeps getting corrupt or deleted.

The use of a dedicated network with synchronisation via atomic clocks is useful in its own right and possibly the most important aspect of the implementation.

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