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The relational database may not be dead, and so-called NoSQL solutions may have been slightly overhyped, but that isn't stopping investors from betting that the market for new types of data stores is going to be very, very big.
The latest example of that: 10gen, which is behind one of the more prominent NoSQL databases, MongoDB, has just raised a new $42m round of funding.
NoSQL has been one of the biggest technology trends of the past couple of years.
The rise of 'big data' and the growing number of solutions that promise to eliminate some of the long-standing headaches relational databases often create have given many companies, particularly start-ups, good reason to NoSQL databases.
But at least some of them are finding out that NoSQL isn't the database market's version of penicillin.
For most companies, however, such debates may seem too technical and abstract to be of any importance. But that doesn't mean that the NoSQL 'movement' should be ignored.
Even if you're one of the brave few who tries to make it through the world without a copy of Microsoft Office, chances are you can't live without a decent word processor and spreadsheet program. For those who want something free and are wary of cloud-based solutions like Google Apps, one free, there's a decent chance you've considered OpenOffice.org, a popular open source productivity suite that offers a lot for very little ($0).
But OpenOffice.org's future is being called into question. That's because OpenOffice.org in its current form had much of its development funded by Sun Microsystems, which agreed to be acquired by Oracle in 2009.
WordPress is one of the most popular open-source content management systems in use on the internet. But despite WordPress' popularity, one knock against it has been the fact that it's always been more a 'blogging engine' than 'true' CMS.
Yesterday, WordPress took a big step toward achieving 'true' CMS status with the release of WordPress 3.0. That's thanks to several of the new features it contains.
The web is literally built on databases. The majority of your favorite websites are probably driven by one or more relational databases.
But there's a "movement" afoot. Its goal: provide a superior alternative to popular RDBMSs like MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server.
Oracle's pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems apparently has some users of MySQL worried. MySQL, of course, is the open source database owned by Sun and offered freely under a GNU General Public License.
It's the most popular open source RDBMS in the world, and is used with popular products like WordPress and on major websites like Facebook and Wikipedia.
Amazon is flying high. While the online retailer is still pulling in the vast majority of its revenue from retail, it has also become one of the biggest players in the cloud computing space.
And Amazon's cloud is only growing in size. Yesterday it announced that it will be launching a new relational database as a service called Amazon RDS and a new range of high-memory instances of Amazon EC2.
MySQL is the most widely-used open-source database in the world. Many popular open-source applications, from WordPress to SugarCRM to Joomla!, use it. And popular websites like Facebook and Twitter rely on it as well.
The popular database system is offered by MySQL AB, which was purchased by Sun Microsystems in 2008. Sun Microsystems, of course, was just purchased for $7.4bn by database and enterprise software giant Oracle.
Who said that funding wouldn't be available to startups in the downturn?
Balderton Capital, which was formerly Benchmark Europe, made $140mn
when portfolio company Bebo was sold to AOL and a small fortune when
another portfolio company, MySQL, was sold to Sun. Its other
investments have included Betfair, the UK's most popular betting
exchange, and Yingli Solar, a Chinese solar company that is now public.