Larry Ellison probably won’t be celebrating Apache Cassandra’s fifth birthday today. Instead he’s likely to be peering into a metaphorical window to see which of his customers have come to the party since a number of them have, or are in the process of, abandoning Oracle’s RDMS in favor of Datastax’s Enterprise edition.
He might also be scratching his head asking what this "Apache community” thing is all about -- isn't it strange that developers from Datastax and its customers would work together to build the newly released Apache Cassandra 2.0 and it’s free for the taking? Those Apache people must have overdosed on “sharing” in kindergarten.
Really, what kind of business bases its future on software built by engineers who commit their code without being able to make a commercial claim to it? What’s the motivation?
And even more confusing to him might be that VC’s like Scale Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital and Meritech Capital Partners, DFJ Growth and Next World Capital have just infused DataStax with US$ 45 million, that could very well rival his budget for things like mansions, estates, cars, islands and yachts.
Apache Cassandra 2.0 Unveiled
Now while in truth, we haven’t any idea what Ellison is doing or thinking today, we do know this: Jonathan Ellis, Apache Cassandra Project Management Committee Chair and DataStax’s chief technology officer announced the launch of Apache Cassandra 2.0 today. Ellis says that Cassandra version 2.0 is all about the developer experience -- its features include lightweight transactions and cursors making the Cassandra Query Language even more powerful and easy to use and leaves developers free from worrying about what’s happening under the hood. Committers to the Apache Cassandra project will worry about those.
DataStax 3.1 Uncovered
Ellis also announced DataStax Enterprise 3.1 which bundles Apache Cassandra, Apache Hadoop™, Apache Solr™ and Datastax’s own visual monitoring and management OpsCenter. DataStax 3.1 eliminates the need for developers to gather and integrate these components, thereby easing use and shortening the product development lifecycle, as well as providing greater scalability and simpler manageability.
Datastax 3.1 includes the following features:
- Increased scalability: new version enables users to manage up to 10 times as much Cassandra data per node for many use cases with the same high levels of performance, handling more data with fewer servers.
- Faster search: Apache Solr 4.3 integration with more than 60 new features enables faster search performance, new memory caches and monitoring functionality and greater reliability.
- Easier transition: latest version of Cassandra Query Language (CQL3) flattens the learning curve for developers migrating from relational databases. Developers can make use of 3.1’s CQL binary protocol and new DataStax Java and .NET drivers to shorten product development cycles.
- Simpler manageability: virtual nodes (vnodes) and parallel operations enable users to increase capacity and perform maintenance operations much faster than before.
- Deeper visibility: tracing features let users dive into the response times of queries and other database operations.
DataStax 3.1 is available for purchase today.
DataStax Community Edition Available Next Month
When DataStax offers something to its Enterprise customers, it offers something to the community as well. DataStax Community Edition (DSC 2.0) which is based on Cassandra 2.0 becomes available next month.
Its features include:
- Compare and Set (CAS): a lightweight transaction mechanism that helps ensure users do not overwrite each other’s work
- Triggers: delivers the ability to have event-driven operations for applications at the database level
- Improved compaction: delivers efficiency gains for larger data on disk
- Eager retries: gives increased reliability when replicating data
- CQL cursors: allows developers to easily navigate and scroll through datasets.
What DataStax Will Do With The Cash
It takes money to grow and a good number of VC’s are bullish on DataStax’s future; so bullish, in fact, that they’re investing US$ 45 million in the company.
DataStax says that it will use the cash to continue its expansion in European markets, for sales and marketing, and developing new products such as DataStax Enterprise 3.1.
The Proof is in the Pudding
Ask Ellis how things are going at DataStax from a business perspective and he’ll point you to happy customers, the kind you can call unannounced and query. What is DataStax doing for them that a legacy RDBMS doesn't?
“Keeping us in business,” says Christos Kalantzis, cloud database engineering manager at Netflix. He recounts a horror story about how Netflix went down for more than 48 hours when its Oracle database failed.
“We couldn't risk that happening again. Oracle wasn't built for the cloud and it doesn't work in the cloud at the level we need it to,” he adds.
Ooyala tells a similar story; they moved from Oracle too.
DataStax also counts eBay, Eventbrite and BloomReach among its customers.
How’s DataStax doing? We’ll borrow Ellis words. “The proof is in the pudding.”