Windows Azure Table Service

Another post in my NoSQL series.  Microsoft offers NoSQL-like data persistence engines outside of SQL Server.  The most compelling is Windows Azure Table Service.  This is a simple persistence mechanism for unstructured data that you can certainly use like a key/value store.  A single blob can be up to 1TB in size and each item in the key/value store can be 1MB.  Just like most key/value stores, no schema is needed.  
The service is organized as a series of tables (not at all the same as relational tables), and each table contains one or more entities. Tables can be divided into partitions and each entity has a two-part key that specifies the partition (the partition key) and the entity ID (the row key).  Entities stored in the same partition have the same value for the partition element of this key, but each entity must have a unique row key within a partition. The Table service is optimized for performing range queries, and entities in the same partition are stored in row key order. The data for an entity comprises a set of key/value pairs known as properties. Like other NoSQL databases, the Table service is schema-less, so entities in the same table can have different sets of properties.  
Conceptually this seems to be almost identical to MongoDb.  I'll write about my experiences with MongoDb in a future post

data architecture nosql