Big data is typically characterized by the the three Vs – Velocity, Variety and Volumes. Velocity describes the speed of the data that flows in predominantly real-time. Variety talks about the nature of data – structured (typical data that fit into relational tables), semi-structured (xmls, data in xl sheets) an unstructured (texts, images etc). Volumes generally tend to be very high as we are looking at sources such as social media, website traffic, data from machines etc
Now what sort of databases are there to support the above data characteristics. They span from Relational to Non-relational (or NoSQL) to Caches.
I managed to hit upon a fantastic representation of the database landscape drawn similar to a metro train map. This is done by Matt Aslett of the 451 group ( a research company in tech space). He is one of the leading thinkers/influencers in the Big Data space.
It includes all the key players of the big data landscape. This map is divided into three regions: relational zone, non-relational zone and grid/cache zone. It incorporates all the different processes and elements of big data to give users a basic idea of a big data database.