Apache Cassandra spends her day in the sun
Not so long ago, Highway 101 in Silicon Valley was lined with billboards paid for by companies like Oracle and IBM, as they fired salutes in their database wars. But these battles look like ancient history today. More and more companies are generating massive amounts of data, and they want to leverage that data with globally distributed, cloud-based, always-on applications that meet user expectations, in real time. With these new demands for data, it is no longer the old names of once-splashed, high-visibility, advertisement-splashed custodial business software that data-driven businesses are turning to.
Instead, the data-heavy use cases that challenge today’s businesses are addressed by the new open source and cloud-based database service providers that harness the innovation of the open community. source and remove the operational complexity of operating a database.
Think instant and personalized offers from a retail app. Or a real-time movie recommendation from Netflix based on your viewing history. Or legions of smart meters operated by a utility provider. The data on which these native and often mission-critical cloud services are built requires a powerful, globally distributed database that runs reliably on the back end.
In the foreground is the open source NoSQL database Apache Cassandra. With the new demands of today’s data-driven businesses, it’s having its day.
Why an open source database?
Cassandra, originally developed within Facebook in 2008, was known from the start for its ability to scale quickly and its ability to access huge amounts of data with very little latency.
For businesses with a global presence or those aspiring to a presence, Cassandra handles geographically distributed data very well and enables cost-effective geographic expansion with product storage. Due to its distributed nature, it is one of the most reliable databases for mission critical applications. These are all capabilities that relational databases and SQL – the old guard – don’t have in their DNA, and this is one of the reasons Netflix ditched its legacy database over decades ago. ten years to rely instead on Cassandra. He simply could not outsource his business to technology with limited scalability and reliability.
In 2018, Gartner predicted that open source databases would account for 10% of DBMS spend. Another report from Gartner estimates that 95% of traditional IT organizations use open source software, or OSS, in their critical IT wallets.
Open source software is a proven way for community innovation to get into the hands of businesses and their developers; it is a way for them to create proofs of concept with full software, with little financial risk. But it’s also a path to success: According to a survey of more than 500 data managers, companies using a robust open source software stack are twice as likely to attribute more than 20% of their revenue to data. and analysis.
It’s not just about financial success. The constellation of open source technologies that are growing around Cassandra makes it easier for developers to build applications with it. Stargate Open Source Data Gateway provides easy to use APIs that simplify developer interaction with any Cassandra database. K8ssandra, another open source project, allows you to deploy Cassandra on any Kubernetes engine, from public cloud providers to VMWare and OpenStack.
Not so long ago, Cassandra was sometimes seen as the “database of last resort”. It was complex to implement and maintain, but could still do the job where other databases couldn’t. However, with the hard work of the open source community, Cassandra quickly became the database to start and grow with.
Make Cassandra even simpler
In addition to the opportunities to expand access to the power of Cassandra, a handful of organizations have built cloud-based services on Cassandra to remove the complexity of database deployment, management, and construction. . DataStax, for example, offers Astra DB, a cloud-based database built on Cassandra that is available as a serverless, paid service. This saves companies significant savings and gives developers the opportunity to experiment and build modern applications on a powerful and reliable database, knowing that their project has the capacity to scale massively if necessary.
So this begs the question: why are there still so many legacy databases in today’s modern business? In other words, it is inertia. Extracting and replacing an existing database is not easy; Like so many business software that businesses rely on to manage their data, switching to another technology can be a Herculean task.
But the trail of legacy relational databases is being redone with open source databases as enterprise IT leaders in some of the world’s most data-driven companies attempt to take advantage of the ever-increasing amounts of information on which they sit.
Take Best Buy, the world’s largest multi-channel consumer electronics retailer and the 10th largest online retailer in the United States with more than 1.6 billion in-store and online visitors each year. The company uses Cassandra to help manage huge spikes in online vacation traffic, numerous site updates every day to ensure price match guarantees and all with 100% uptime and response times of 5 milliseconds.
Today’s data-driven businesses won’t outsource their data and applications to old-fashioned technology vendors, as legacy databases were typically designed for on-premises installations with small user bases. . They no longer fit in dynamic, globally distributed cloud architectures with global reach. According to Gartner, by 2022, 75% of all databases will be deployed or migrated to a cloud platform, with only 5% of them considered for on-premise repatriation.
Does this mean that the days of the relational database are over? Not necessarily; they have their place with transaction-based and structured data applications, where scalability is not a major concern. But in a world where the volume and speed of data requires scalability, performance, and availability for mission-critical applications that power the future of enterprise innovation, open source cloud-based technologies like Cassandra will be downright. in the spotlight.
Experiment DataStax Astra DB, the multi-cloud DBaaS built on Cassandra.
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