Robin Schumacher

Can Cassandra Handle Your Cloud App? Ask Netflix.

By Robin SchumacherApril 22, 2013

A recent article in ZDNet called out Netflix as having the largest cloud app in the world. In addition to being the biggest single internet traffic source, Netflix is also #1 when it comes to being a pure cloud service.

Netflix delivers more than one billion video instances each month to its subscribers, and it does so with an architecture that expects failure and is designed from the ground up to handle it.  And what database does the largest cloud app on the planet use to power its media business and keep things running no matter what happens?

Apache Cassandra from DataStax.

ZDNet’s article describes Netflix’s architecture from a high level perspective, but to understand what Netflix does in more detail, you can view Adrian Cockcroft’s (director of architecture for Netflix) presentation from our last conference. In addition, you should review their benchmark tests in the cloud that demonstrate the linear scalability of Cassandra (also see End Point’s benchmarks that compare Cassandra to MongoDB and HBase in the cloud).

Whether it’s performance or continuous availability, Cassandra gives Netflix what it needs. As an example of the latter where database uptime is concerned, when Amazon experienced its much publicized outage last October, Cassandra helped Netflix to never miss a beat: “We configure all our clusters to use a replication factor of three, with each replica located in a different Availability Zone.  This allowed Cassandra to handle the outage remarkably well.  When a single zone became unavailable, we didn’t need to do anything.  Cassandra routed requests around the unavailable zone and when it recovered, the ring was repaired.”

So if you’re wondering if DataStax can tackle an application you’re considering for the cloud, you don’t have to look any further than Netflix for your answer. To understand how DataStax and Apache Cassandra can handle your cloud needs, download our cloud white paper and see the short video below.



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