What Does Distributed SQL Really Mean?

The world is moving to the cloud and various post-monolithic SQL databases are emerging. The term “NewSQL” was coined by 451 Research analyst Matt Aslett in 2011, and in 2016 Aslett and Professor Andrew Pavlo of Carnegie Mellon University published a paper titled, “What’s Really New with NewSQL,” describing NewSQL as a new class of database management systems that “want to achieve the same scalability of NoSQL DBMSs from the 2000s, but still keep the relational model (with SQL) and transaction support of the legacy DBMSs from the 1970-80s.” NuoDB was founded in 2010 based on this idea, and has been an important player in the distributed relational database space since then. For a while, this concept was referred to as “scalable SQL,” and we’ve also seen reference to “elastic SQL.” More recently, we’ve seen a new term emerge: “distributed SQL.”

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