Interview with Ed Anuff

“DataStax Astra makes the power of Apache Cassandra available to more developers”

Chris Stewart
Apache Cassandra
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DataStax Astra is a database-as-a-service for Apache Cassandra. It is designed to make it easier for developers to get started working with the database and comes with a free tier. We spoke to Ed Anuff, Chief Product Officer at DataStax, to find out more.

JAXenter: What is DataStax Astra?

DataStax Astra is our database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for Apache Cassandra.

Ed Anuff: DataStax Astra is our database-as-a-service (DBaaS) for Apache Cassandra. We have simplified the experience around using Cassandra for application developers and reduced deployment time from weeks to minutes. What this does is remove one of the biggest obstacles to using Cassandra that we often came across, and make the power of Cassandra available to more developers.

SEE ALSO: How to install and configure Apache2

Cassandra is used by many of the most heavily used internet applications in the world, from Instagram through to services like Netflix. Its distributed, wide column store, NoSQL database management system is designed for handling large amounts of data across many servers and it provides high availability with no single point of failure.

JAXenter: Why should this launch excite developers?

Ed Anuff: DataStax’s mission is to connect every developer in the world to the power of Cassandra. We want to give them the freedom to deploy their data in any cloud or on any device. According to research we conducted with ClearPath Strategies, while practitioners see Cassandra as a good hybrid solution and highly scalable, at least a third saw a lack of skilled staff as the top obstacle to Cassandra adoption.

With Astra, we believe that we have solved that problem and made it easier for people to get started. First, it brings the performance, reliability, and scale of Cassandra to the cloud and removes the operational issues, making it a fast way to run Cassandra applications.

Second, Astra also creates an easy way to build and troubleshoot Cassandra with access to expertise and support. The third reason is of particular concern for developers and that’s the worry over vendor lock-in. Developers want the same capabilities across clouds, so Astra offers a consistent developer experience with open-source Cassandra tools. Developers will be able to scale-out and scale-in on any hybrid or multi-cloud without downtime on a global scale.

Astra helps simplify and accelerate getting modern applications deployed. We’ve already helped thousands of developers create and use Cassandra clusters in Astra through our workshops. Users also indicated an 8-12 week reduction in bootstrapping time for each new project due to the lifecycle management and API accessibility that Astra provides.

JAXenter: What are the top features of DataStax Astra?

We are committed to open source software and being part of the community.

Ed Anuff: Immediacy is a key feature. Developers can install and run Cassandra in minutes using our free tier which offers 10GB. Developers can also achieve fast application delivery using the Cassandra Query Language (CQL), REST and GraphQL APIs.

We are committed to open source software and being part of the community. That’s reflected in how Astra is powered by an open-source Kubernetes Operator for Cassandra and in how we commit back battle-tested code to the open-source project.

Ultimately, the top feature is we help developers surmount that operational challenge that previously came with Cassandra and they get to benefit from all Cassandra has to offer. It finally makes Cassandra’s masterless approach, scale-out architecture and linear scalability easily accessible when applications need to support massive amounts of data with zero downtime.

SEE ALSO: Tutorial: Getting started with Apache Cassandra

JAXenter: Where can I try DataStax Astra?

Ed Anuff: Developers can access Astra now at

Astra is currently available on AWS and GCP. With GCP, you can deploy dedicated clusters today and migrate clouds with no code changes. Support for Azure is expected to follow soon.

JAXenter: Thank you for the interview!

Chris Stewart
Chris Stewart is an Online Editor for He studied French at Somerville College, Oxford before moving to Germany in 2011. He speaks too many languages, writes a blog, and dabbles in card tricks.

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