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Database Reliability Engineering by Laine Campbell, Charity Majors

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Chapter 11. Datastore Field Guide

Technically, a datastore is just that—storage of data and the associated software and structure to allow it to be stored, modified, and accessed. But we are specifically speaking of datastores that today’s organizations would use to fulfill these purposes with nontrivial amounts of users accessing nontrival amounts of data at nontrivial levels of concurrency.

A field guide is traditionally carried by a reader looking to identify flora, fauna, or other objects in nature. Carried out into the field, it helps the user distinguish between a wide range of similar objects. Our goal in this chapter is to help you understand the identifying characteristics of various datastores. Armed with this information we hope that you can go into the world understanding the best use cases for these datastores—as well as appropriate care and feeding.

In this chapter, we begin by defining attributes and categories of a datastore that are pertinent to the developers of applications that write and consume data. After this, we dive into the categories that would be of greater interest to architects and operators of datastores. Although we believe anyone developing, designing, or operating datastores should be aware of all of the attributes of that datastore, we recognize that people often evaluate these things from their specific job roles. Our goal is not to be comprehensive here, because there are any number of datastores out there in use. Instead, we hope to familiarize ...

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