Ten Ways Databases Run Your Life

September 10, 2014 kmolitor

You might not realize it, but databases are everywhere. Whether or not you know very much about them, or even care to, their effect on our daily lives is extensive. From weather applications to the movies you watch online, databases are responsible for many of the services we utilize daily. We have collected a few of the more well-known examples of how databases enhance your day-to-day life below. The most popular database server in our industry, MySQL, is prevalent in virtually every example listed below. Learn more about MySQL and how to install it on your server in our recent post, "What is MySQL and How Do I Use It?".

  1. Online Television Streaming

    Any online streaming service, such as Hulu or Netflix, uses databases to generate a list of TV shows and movies to watch, track an individual’s show preferences, and provide a list of recommended viewing. The power required to analyze such an enormous amount of data is done through highly-specialized database management technology, such as Cassandra. In fact, Hulu has recently been relying heavily Cassandra.
  2. Social Gaming

    Gaming done across social networks is extremely data intensive. Gathering individual player information from around the globe and serving it to players on demand requires a high availability database software. One example is the popular Game of Thrones Ascent, a free role playing game launched by Disruptor Beam and based on the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. Their Percona Server-based database solution helps eliminates data bottlenecks during high-usage periods.
  3. Personal Cloud Storage

    If you save photos or documents to your smartphone or tablet, it’s likely your data is stored in “the cloud,” a large, central storage environment with a small portion dedicated just to you. Syncing this data across your devices requires powerful databases able to call up your data at a moment’s notice, wherever you are.
  4. Sports

    Fan participation in national sports doesn't just utilize the power of the database, it depends upon it. From fantasy football leagues to March Madness brackets, they all depend on huge databases full of player statistics, game performances, injury reports, and more, all calculating the odds of a win on a weekly basis.
  5. Finances

    From the stock market to your local bank, databases are abundant across the financial world. Tracking the vast amount of information behind the world’s daily transactions, not to mention the financial models that analyze that data to predict future activity, requires extremely powerful databases.
  6. Government Organizations

    Government organizations around the world are constantly collecting data for research, defense, legislation, and humanitarianism purposes, to name a few. This data is collected, stored and analyzed using powerful and far-reaching database services.
  7. Social Media

    Every social media platform stores reams of user information in databases used to recommend friends, businesses, products, and topics to the end user. This cross-referencing of data is immensely complex and uses highly reliable and capable database software, including for example, MySQL which is used in Facebook data centers.
  8. ECommerce

    Any online organization that sells its products or services uses databases to organize their products, pricing information, user purchase history and then recommend other potential products to customers. This data is stored in highly secure databases, protected by the standards set through PCI Compliance.
  9. Healthcare

    Doctor’s offices and healthcare organizations, among others, store extensive amounts of patient data for easy accessibility. The databases behind this collection of information are not only large and complex, but are also secure and protected by HIPAA Compliance standards. Healthcare.gov relies on a NoSQL database to manage their health insurance information. Cassandra is one such example of a NoSQL database software.
  10. Weather

    Predicting the weather across the globe is incredibly complex and depends on a myriad of factors, all gathered, stored and analyzed within databases, ready to deliver today's weather to your local TV station or smartphone app. The Weather Company, for example, takes in over 20 terabytes of data per day. The company has used a number of databases to support this data, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Cassandra, and more.
Databases are as unavoidable in daily life as they are necessary - a fact which is made clear by our above list. Of course, there are many types of software that run and support the numerous databases in our lives. Liquid Web offers a number of these database services, allowing us to take your needs into account and provide you with a custom hosting plan that meets your requirements. If you need help deciding which database solution is best for you, let us know - we’d be happy to help.

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