Difference Between RDBMS and Hadoop

Comparison between RDBMS and Hadoop

The key Difference between RDBMS and Hadoop is that the RDBMS stores structured data whereas Hadoop stores structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.

RDBMS and Hadoop are two different technologies that are used to store and process large amounts of data.

  • RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. It is a traditional database technology that stores data in a structured format. RDBMSs are well-suited for storing and managing data that is well-defined and has a fixed schema.
  • Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing and processing large amounts of data. Hadoop is not a database in the traditional sense, but it can be used to store and process data that is not well-defined or does not have a fixed schema.

The main differences between RDBMS and Hadoop are:

  • Data format: RDBMSs store data in a structured format, while Hadoop can store data in a variety of formats, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured.
  • Scalability: RDBMSs are typically scalable to a certain extent, but Hadoop is designed to be scalable to very large datasets.
  • Processing: RDBMSs are designed for efficient processing of queries on structured data, while Hadoop is designed for efficient processing of large datasets, regardless of their structure.
RDBMS and Hadoop Difference
RDBMS and Hadoop Difference

Comparison Chart

  • Here is a table that summarizes the key differences between RDBMS and Hadoop:
Feature RDBMS Hadoop
Data format Structured Structured, semi-structured, and unstructured
Scalability Scalable to a certain level Scalable to very large datasets
Processing Efficient for queries on structured data Efficient for processing large datasets
Scalable It is less scalable than Hadoop. It is highly scalable.
Normalization Data normalization is required in RDBMS. Data normalization is not required in Hadoop.
Data integrity High data integrity available. Low data integrity available than RDBMS
Cost Cost is applicable for licensed software. Free of cost, as it is an open source software.

What is RDBMS?

RDBMS, or Relational Database Management System, is a software system used to manage relational databases. It provides a structured way to organize data into tables, which consist of rows and columns. RDBMS is based on a set of predefined schemas and enforces data integrity through constraints and relationships.


RDBMS is a software system that allows users to define, create, and manipulate relational databases. It provides a structured framework for storing, managing, and retrieving data using SQL (Structured Query Language) queries.


  • Data is organized into tables with predefined schemas.
  • Tables have relationships defined through keys (primary and foreign keys).
  • ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties ensure data integrity.
  • Supports structured data with a fixed schema.
  • Provides SQL as a query language for data manipulation.
  • Suitable for applications with a predefined and well-structured data model.

What is Hadoop?

Hadoop is an open-source framework that enables the distributed processing of large datasets across clusters of commodity hardware. It is designed to handle both structured and unstructured data, making it ideal for big data applications. Hadoop consists of two core components: the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) and the MapReduce processing framework.


Hadoop is an open-source software framework that allows for distributed storage and processing of large datasets across clusters of computers.


  • Data is distributed across multiple machines in a cluster.
  • Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) provides fault-tolerant storage.
  • MapReduce allows for distributed processing of data across the cluster.
  • Supports both structured and unstructured data, enabling big data processing.
  • Highly scalable, as it can handle petabytes of data.
  • Well-suited for applications with unstructured or semi-structured data.


In summary, RDBMS and Hadoop are distinct technologies with different characteristics and use cases. RDBMS is ideal for structured data and applications requiring data integrity and well-defined schemas. Hadoop, on the other hand, excels in handling big data, unstructured or semi-structured data, and distributed processing. Understanding these differences will help you make informed decisions when choosing the right technology for your data management and processing needs.


  1. Q: Can Hadoop replace RDBMS? A: Hadoop and RDBMS serve different purposes, so it depends on your specific requirements. In some cases, Hadoop can complement RDBMS by handling large-scale data processing tasks.
  2. Q: Is Hadoop only for big data? A: While Hadoop is well-suited for big data, it can also handle smaller datasets. It provides scalability and flexibility for various data processing needs.
  3. Q: Are RDBMS and Hadoop mutually exclusive? A: No, they can coexist in an architecture. RDBMS can store structured data, while Hadoop can handle large-scale processing and storage of unstructured or semi-structured data.
  4. Q: Which technology is better for real-time processing? A: RDBMS is typically better suited for real-time processing due to its ability to handle transactions and enforce data consistency.
  5. Q: Can I use SQL with Hadoop? A: Yes, you can use SQL-like queries with Hadoop by utilizing frameworks such as Hive or Impala.

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