Open Source Insider

May 23 2019   2:02PM GMT

DataStax details road to Apache Cassandra future

Adrian Bridgwater Adrian Bridgwater Profile: Adrian Bridgwater

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DataStax closed out the final day of its ‘Accelerate 2019’ conference by focusing on a selection of platform-level developments including its community development stream.

Nate McCall, project chair, Apache Cassandra spoke openly on the journey to Apache Cassandra and its 4.0 iteration.

“Community is the lifeblood of our ecosystem,” said McCall.

Looking at the history of Cassandra, McCall explained how Cassandra had started as a project that came out of from Facebook with some additional technologies emanating on Google code back in 2009. Looking at what has happened over the last decade, he thinks that the project has grown considerably and now presents itself with ‘well-defined protocols’ and a far higher degree of usability.

Today we know that most contributors are running clusters and most of them are really bug — these are the people that are making commits on the project. This means, logically, that many of the features appearing in the project are being created by users operating at that kind of level.

“The marketing team was not involved [in the roadmap development] because we know real developers are the ones driving Cassandra forward,” said McCall.

Explaining that contributions can take any form – not just code – McCall pointed to some specific companies whose contributions have been mainly focused on documentation, which is just fine i.e. it’s all valuable and all needed.

Cassandra development in the community this year will come together at both Apachecon North America… and at the NGCC i.e. the Next Generation Cassandra Conference. The community is now looking to share out who is doing the test tracking for various aspects of the project based upon what those individuals (or teams) have specific competencies and skills in.

Folks fuel forks

In reality, the community knows that lots of folks are running internal forks… and this may be because users are waiting for Cassandra 4.0 to come forward. McCall says that a big part of the reason the community is being made to wait is that the team know that they have to make the 4.0 really really good.

McCall handed over to DataStax CTO and co-founder Jonathan Ellis.

No vendor does more for Cassandra than DataStax claimed Ellis… and he is referring to all the support and training that the company inputs alongside all the code input that it drives towards the core.

In terms of ease of use, Graph is a powerful way of exploring data and DataStax is bringing Graph techniques to Cassandra. Equally, Ellis claims that DataStax will be giving some of the wide distributed data positives back to Graph in general.

Ellis dug into the Kubernetes Operator that DataStax is developing to automate container provisioning, automate roll out of config changes and a range of other functions. He also spoke about DataStax Desktop (which offers a good deal of configuration shortcuts), which is available on the firm’s DataStax Labs website zone.

The Labs zone itself is typified by its beta-level software… users need to sign to the following agreement if they wish to use these technologies:

“You agree to test DataStax Labs Software and provide DataStax with comments, notes, bug reports and feature comments with sufficient documentation, samples, code error, screen shots, etc., to help DataStax evaluate and improve the DataStax Labs Software.”

Ellis also spent time explaining the workings of DataStax Studio, which is an interactive developer tool for CQL (Cassandra Query Language), Spark SQL and DSE Graph.

Thinking about what DataStax has announced in line with this year’s event itself, Ellis also worked through some of the functions available in DataStax Insights, this is the company’s product devoted to performance management and monitoring.

AppStax.io is the firm’s approach to automating a data layer… so this is DataStax aiming to provide a new layer of automation for developers, rather than operations, sysadmin staff or database administrators of any kind.

DataStax is aiming to bring off a complex feat of engineering and there is abstraction, automation and simplification here at many levels.

McCall: WHEN… it’s ready, it’ll be ready… but it’ll be really good.

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