Path laid for database solution

Apache Cassandra to get facelift in October – leading the NoSQL pack?

Chris Mayer
Cassandra

Last week’s Cassandra Summit 2012 wasn’t only a celebration of the massively scalable database’s success but an indication of its future plans

It’s been a stellar year for Apache Cassandra. The scalable
NoSQL database solution, which can handle huge loads in real-time,
quickly assumed the role of pacesetter in the Big Data race, after
reaching its 1.0 version back in October. Since then, they’ve made
strides into the enterprise world by entering production
environments at Netflix, Disney and eBay, amongst others.

Last week’s Cassandra Summit 2012 in
Santa Clara saw the community take stock on what had been done so
far, but to also discuss the plans that lay ahead for Apache
Cassandra. Jonathan Ellis, CTO at Datastax (the company behind
the technology) and project chair for the Apache Cassandra project
was the man with the answers for the enterprises using it in
production.

He revealed that Apache Cassandra’s 1.2 version, set for an
October release, wouldn’t just be a footnote, upgrading the project
with a concurrent schema change and virtual node capabilities. The
idea behind this appears to be with their biggest clients in mind,
making it possible for multiple clients to issue scheme changes
alongside each other across a cluster safely.

With more and more businesses looking for a database that can
give you data in double-quick time, Cassandra needs to prepared to
offer such agility in rapid transaction operations. Alongside the
fundamental changes, Cassandra Query Language (CQL) 3 will have new
features such as concatenation across data sets. However this
won’t include full backwards compatability, so CQL 2 users will
have to make do with CQL 3 when adding on to their application.

Cassandra Summit also gave a platform to many of the enterprises
linking up with DataStax. The commercial arm behind Cassandra state
that the number of enterprise Apache Cassandra users has doubled in
the past year (no surprise given the first full version) so only
now are we starting to see companies buddy up to further the
project.

Deals forged included an alliance with Actuate to create
analytics solutions, Big Data connector specialists Simba
Technologies and Jaspersoft, to deliver a native BI analytics
connector. These partnerships will put Apache Cassandra in good
stead as it moves forward to deal with new challenges.

“The involved and impassioned community that has grown
around Cassandra is a tremendous and distinctive asset,” said
DataStax Co-Founder and CTO Jonathan Ellis. “The advocacy,
collective thinking and best practices emanating from this
community empower others as they leverage the full potential of
Cassandra. The energy we are seeing today at the 2012 Cassandra
Summit is remarkable and bears out the fact that Cassandra is the
superior NoSQL database well positioned to manage the massive big
data generated by the enterprise.”

Originally created at Facebook in 2008, Apache Cassandra gained
Top Level Status at Apache in 2010, before emerging last year with
a first generally-available version. 

Many bigger companies are no doubt banking on a combination of
Cassandra’s speed with the deep-style analytics of Hadoop. With
assurances that Apache Cassandra is more than ready to deal with
the newest enterprise hurdles, we’re pretty sure next year’s
Cassandra Summit will be even bigger, with an enterprise surge
imminent. 

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