The signal-to-noise ratio in the NoSQL world has made it hard to figure out what’s going on, or even who has something new. For all the talk of performance in the NoSQL world, much of the most exciting part of what’s new is really not about performance at all.
Take for example, MongoDB, which has a really great data model and MapReduce has a very handy scripting language. These are genuine and probably long-lasting contributions. Their innovation is all about finding a new language to use for interacting with data. They are about NoSQL.
The confusion comes, for me, when we get to the performance side of the equation. I explore this in detail in an article I did for Datanami recently — http://www.datanami.com/datanami/2012-05-22/the_sound_and_the_nosql_fury.html.