NewSQL is a term associated with a class of modern relational database management systems that offer the high scalability of NoSQL systems while maintaining the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties of traditional SQL databases. These systems are designed to overcome the limitations of traditional SQL databases in handling large-scale and distributed transactions. NewSQL databases achieve this by incorporating new architectures and techniques, such as sharding, distributed query processing, and improved concurrency control.

Key Takeaways

  1. NewSQL combines the benefits of traditional relational databases, such as SQL, with the scalability of NoSQL databases, providing a better performance and consistency to support modern applications and workloads.
  2. NewSQL systems achieve high transaction processing rates, faster query processing, and lower latency through distributed architectures, in-memory data storage, and parallel query execution.
  3. Some examples of NewSQL databases include Google Spanner, CockroachDB, and NuoDB. These databases are well-suited for cloud-native applications, distributed systems, and real-time analytics use-cases.


NewSQL is an important concept in the technology realm as it bridges the gap between traditional relational databases and the modern requirements of large-scale application processing.

As an evolution of the traditional SQL databases, NewSQL provides the benefits of ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) compliance, ensuring data reliability and transactional integrity while addressing the challenges of scalability, performance, and flexibility posed by NoSQL databases.

By integrating these features, NewSQL offers a perfect blend of the best characteristics of both relational and non-relational databases, enabling businesses to build highly responsive, scalable, and data-driven applications in today’s dynamic technological landscape.


NewSQL emerged with the purpose of combining the best aspects of traditional SQL relational databases and modern NoSQL systems to deliver superior performance and scalability features. Its primary use is to handle the exponential growth of data being collected and processed by various organizations in the digital era, without sacrificing the familiar benefits of relational databases.

By offering a modern approach to a comprehensive data management system, NewSQL bridges the gap between the need for high levels of data security and consistency through transactional processing (ACID-compliant) and the demand for a scalable, high-performing database system that can efficiently manage vast amounts of structured and semi-structured data. The popularity of NewSQL databases can mainly be attributed to their focus on providing the ease-of-use and familiarity of SQL-based systems, while adopting the vital attributes of NoSQL databases like horizontal scalability, fault tolerance, and minimal latency.

This hybrid approach has enabled various industries, such as e-commerce, finance and gaming, to maintain rigid data consistency requirements and simultaneously manage workloads of high transaction rates and low latency responses. Furthermore, as businesses increasingly shift to cloud-native applications and microservices architectures, NewSQL databases offer a solution to the need for both flexible and reliable data storage that can seamlessly scale with the ever-growing requirements of today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Examples of NewSQL

VoltDB: VoltDB is a high-performance, in-memory NewSQL database platform that supports both SQL queries and ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) transactions. It focuses on providing rapid analytics for high-velocity applications and stream processing in sectors like finance, IoT, and telecommunications. Offering horizontal scalability, the system can be seamlessly distributed across multiple nodes to reduce latency and increase throughput.

CockroachDB: CockroachDB is a distributed, fault-tolerant NewSQL database that focuses on delivering scalability, reliability, and consistency. Cockroach Labs designed it to automatically replicate, distribute, and manage data across multiple nodes while providing ACID-compliant transactions. Some of the key industries using this technology include gaming, healthcare, and logistics applications.

MemSQL (now SingleStore): MemSQL, rebranded as SingleStore, is a distributed, memory-optimized NewSQL database technology that combines transactional and analytical processing capabilities. Its core functionalities include real-time analytics, efficient indexing, and high concurrency rates. These features aid industries like supply chain management, adtech, and finance in optimizing data processing and minimizing latency.


1. What is NewSQL?

NewSQL is a category of modern relational database management systems that combine the benefits of traditional SQL databases, like ACID transactions and relational schemas, with the scalability of NoSQL systems. NewSQL systems are designed to address the limitations of traditional SQL databases in handling large volumes of data, delivering high performance and high availability in distributed environments.

2. What are the main benefits of NewSQL databases?

Some key benefits of NewSQL databases include high concurrency, low latency, strong consistency, high scalability, and full compliance with the ACID properties. They are designed for distributed systems and support modern cloud-based infrastructures. NewSQL databases make it easier to manage larger, more complex workloads while maintaining consistency and reliability.

3. How do NewSQL databases differ from traditional SQL databases?

Traditional SQL databases are built around a monolithic architecture and often struggle with scalability and performance issues in distributed environments. In contrast, NewSQL databases are designed with scalability and performance in mind, making them a suitable choice for handling large-scale, distributed workloads. NewSQL systems support horizontal scaling, which allows them to distribute data and queries across multiple nodes to improve performance and provide fault tolerance.

4. What are some popular NewSQL databases?

Several well-known NewSQL databases include Google Spanner, CockroachDB, VoltDB, MemSQL, and NuoDB. These databases can vary in architecture, feature sets, and licensing, but they share the common goal of addressing the limitations of traditional SQL databases by providing a scalable, high-performance solution for modern data-driven applications.

5. Are NewSQL databases a good fit for every use case?

While NewSQL databases provide many advantages over traditional SQL databases, they may not be suitable for every use case. For instance, some applications may require flexible data models or schema-less structures that are better supported by NoSQL databases. Additionally, if your application does not require the strong consistency guarantees and ACID properties, choosing a NoSQL database may be more appropriate. It’s essential to evaluate your specific needs and requirements before choosing a database system for your project.

Related Technology Terms

  • Scalability
  • ACID Compliance
  • Distributed Transactions
  • High-Performance Query Execution
  • Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)

Sources for More Information

  • – A resource site dedicated to NewSQL technology
  • Wikipedia – The NewSQL entry in the free online encyclopedia
  • Techopedia – A comprehensive technology dictionary with a detailed entry on NewSQL
  • MemSQL – A database company offering NewSQL solutions

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