Lock down the base!

DataStax Enterprise 3.0 takes on NoSQL security criticisms

Elliot Bentley

Commercial distribution of Apache Cassandra jumps “final hurdle” to enterprise adoption in 3.0 release, says CEO.

The parent company of NoSQL database Cassandra have released a new version of its commercial distribution aiming to overcome the security criticisms that have dogged the NoSQL space.

DataStax Enterprise 3.0 is the company’s latest spin on Apache Cassandra, bundling extra features designed specifically for large-scale corporate environments and deep integration with big data platforms Hadoop and Solr.

“In this release, we’ve tackled what we see as the final hurdle inside of the enterprises towards proliferating this technology even more, and that has been security,” CEO Billy Bosworth told JAXenter, admitting that “pretty much all” NoSQL systems have lacked basic security features.

“That has been a hole, a really big hole in the NoSQL market … The ability to provide the type of security that you are accustomed to in the relational world simply has not existed yet in the NoSQL world.”

These include “internal authentication” – support for usernames and passwords – and granular user rights, which will be pushed upstream to the Cassandra code base. The absence of these features in Cassandra “wasn’t so much of an oversight as it was a design challenge,” says Bosworth. “We’ve always known we’ve needed it.”

DataStax are keeping some of the more advanced security features, including client-to-node encryption and data auditing, for their own product, however. This includes enhanced security between Cassandra, Hadoop and Solr integration, said Bosworth. “Because we’ve integrated these technologies so deeply, now when we implement these security features, they will cascade and cover all of those use cases.”

The other aspect of the new release also includes OpsCenter, a web-based console for managing, monitoring and restoring DataStax clusters. It’s designed for people interested in using Cassandra without having to “fight the raw jungle of open source”, said Bosworth. “They really just want stuff to work, and they want to be able to do it in a fast, easy way. That’s the stuff we provide in OpsCenter.”

With web pioneers like Adobe, eBay and Netflix already on DataStax’s customer list, this latest release should open the doors further to adoption by more conservative companies.

Photo by grittycitygirl.

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