As demand for big data grows in the enterprise, so does demand for scalable NoSQL solutions. And, according to a recent Forrester Research report, a few specific vendors are leading the way in the market.

On August 17, 2016, Forrester released its Forrester Wave: Big Data NoSQL report for Q3 2016. The report examined the rise of NoSQL relative to big data, and examined 15 products in the space and how they performed.

The unstructured and distributed nature of NoSQL databases makes them faster in handling massive amounts of data, but it also makes them better equipped for horizontal scalability. As more and more data comes in, performance shouldn’t suffer, as long as you have the necessary hardware to back it up.

“A key strength for NoSQL is the ability to support scale-out architecture leveraging low-cost computer servers that are clustered to deliver performance of large, high-end SMP servers,” the report said. “In addition, its flexible schemaless model offers the ability to store, process, and access any type of customer and business data.”

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According to a data and analytics survey Forrester conducted in 2016, 29% of tech decision makers said they have already implemented NoSQL technology, or are currently implementing it. Another 12% said they were expanding their implementations.

So, why are these enterprises using NoSQL? They gave five reasons:

  1. Enables elastic scale to support dynamic workloads.
  2. Supports flexible data models to support any type of data.
  3. Delivers extreme read and write capabilities for demanding customer apps.
  4. Simplifies data management for any type of application.
  5. Lowers data management cost.

To determine what products were the strongest in the NoSQL space, Forrester looked at the top 15 vendors based on their current offering, strategy, and market presence. Of those 15 vendors, nine stood out as leaders (in order): MongoDB, Amazon DynamoDB, DataStax, MarkLogic, IBM Cloudant, Couchbase, Oracle NoSQL, MapR, and Redis Labs.

MongoDB remains the most popular database on the list because it is easy to use and offers a full ecosystem of partners and tools. It is a document-oriented database, and it is commonly used for personalization, real time analytics, and IoT.

In terms of cloud NoSQL databases, Amazon’s DynamoDB was the most popular. It is integrated tightly with Amazon EMR, and works for a variety of use cases.

DataStax took the third spot on the list. The company offers an enterprise-ready version of the popular, open source Apache Cassandra project. DataStax provides fault tolerance and a scale-out architecture, and is commonly used in fraud detection and product catalogs.

With both DataStax and MongoDB on the list, that makes two open source products in the top three. As TechRepublic columnist Matt Asay might argue, part of their popularity could be attributed to their ability to level the playing field for up-and-coming tech companies.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Forrester Research recently released its Forrester Wave: Big Data NoSQL report for Q3 2016, examining the top vendors in the NoSQL space.
  2. NoSQL has grown in popularity for its horizontal scalability and speed, making it virtually essential for most big data deployments.
  3. MongoDB, Amazon DynamoDB, and DataStax took the top three spots in Forrester’s list for their current offerings, strategies, and market presence.