July 6, 2010

Cassandra technical overview

Back in March, I talked with Jonathan Ellis of Rackspace, who runs the Apache Cassandra project. I started drafting a blog post then, but never put it up. Then Jonathan cofounded Riptano, a company to commercialize Cassandra, and so I talked with him again in May. Well, I’m finally finding time to clear my Cassandra/Riptano backlog. I’ll cover the more technical parts below, and the more business- or usage-oriented ones in a companion Cassandra/Riptano post.

Jonathan’s core claims for Cassandra include:

In general, Jonathan positions Cassandra as being best-suited to handle a small number of operations at high volume, throughput, and speed. The rest of what you do, as far as he’s concerned, may well belong in a more traditional SQL DBMS. 

Further highlights of our talks included, as best I understood them:

I certainly didn’t grasp everything about Cassandra replication and partitioning strategies. That wasn’t the focus of our talks, and anyway I got the impression they are so flexible that there’s little that can firmly be said about them. But I did get the impressions:

When we talked in March, the next release of Cassandra was going to be 0.7. Cassandra 0.7 was going to be a performance/scalability release, for example fixing the flaw that garbage collection read rows into memory one at a time. After that, Cassandra 0.8 was to be a feature release, with one planned feature being more automatic index management and/or materialized-view-like capability, so as to reduce the burden on Cassandra developers of schema management.

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4 Responses to “Cassandra technical overview”

  1. Project Cassandra — Facebook’s open sourced quasi-DBMS | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on July 6th, 2010 5:11 am

    […] I posted much fresher information about Cassandra in July, […]

  2. Riptano, and Cassandra adoption | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on July 6th, 2010 5:12 am

    […] Cassandra technology post got plenty long enough on its own, so I’m separating out business and adoption issues here. […]

  3. YunTable开发日记(8)-聊聊分布式数据库的作用 « 人云亦云 on July 17th, 2010 4:37 am

    […] Cassandra technical overview […]

  4. Finally confirmed: Membase has a reasonable product roadmap | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on August 18th, 2010 5:37 am

    […] Membase Node Code be a close substitute for relational DBMS functionality, or even the Cassandra architecture? I doubt it, especially at first. But at least it will keep Membase developers from […]

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