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SQL vs NoSQL Databases

by Iwan Price-Evans on Web technology • May 30, 2022

SQL databases are relational while NoSQL databases are non-relational. If you need flexibility and scalability, then NoSQL might be right for you. However, if you only need to store small amounts of structured data, then SQL will work just fine.

What Is A SQL Database?

SQL databases are very common and have been around since the 1970s. They were originally designed to store relational data (data organized into tables) and have been widely adopted by developers as a result.

SQL databases store structured data in tables and scale vertically by adding additional rows. 

What Is A NoSQL Database?

NoSQL databases, also known as non-relational databases, were developed in response to the limitations of SQL databases and are being adopted by developers of modern scalable applications.

NoSQL databases store unstructured data such as documents and JSON and scale horizontally by adding additional stores.

There are several different types of NoSQL databases, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. MongoDB is one of the most popular NoSQL database options. It was designed specifically for document storage and retrieval. Document stores are ideal for storing large amounts of unstructured data.

Should I Use SQL or NoSQL?

Why Use SQL?

SQL databases are very popular because they're easy to use and understand and have been around for decades.

They are well suited to datasets where the data structure doesn't change frequently.

However, they aren't well suited for some applications, such as those with high write volumes or where data is unstructured, or a mixture of structured and unstructured.

Why Use NoSQL?

NoSQL databases are newer and more flexible and are often used for storing large amounts of data.

They are much better suited to handling unstructured data than SQL databases.

However, returning queries from NoSQL databases can take longer than from SQL databases.

Are SQL Databases Vulnerable?

SQL databases used on an application backend are vulnerable to cyber security attacks called SQL Injection, which involves submitting user data into web forms and URL parameters that trigger commands on the backend. Typical use cases for this attack are deleting, modifying, or leaking an organization's data. SQL injection is a Layer 7 attack meaning it operates at the Application Layer in the OSI Model.

Does Snapt Help Prevent SQL Injection?

Yes. Snapt Nova provides load balancing and WAF security on-demand to millions of nodes making it ideal for protecting large distributed databases. The Layer 7 WAF protects against the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities including preventing SQL injection, DoS, CSRF, XSS, malware, and more. Snapt Nova includes deployment templates for SQL databases for fast and easy deployment.