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Top Cassandra Summit Sessions For Advanced Cassandra Users

By Jonathan Ellis, CTO and Co-founderSeptember 3, 2015

For the first time, this year’s Cassandra Summit presentations span two days and there are too many great talks for me to narrow it down to my traditional top ten list. Instead, I’ll highlight the most exciting talks for the beginner, intermediate and advanced audiences.

Check out my posts previously:

Here are the most interesting talks for an advanced audience, comfortable with writing code to customize Cassandra’s behavior.

Gary Dusbabek’s talk on when and how to extend Cassandra

Gary Dusabek, Apache Cassandra & PMC, Silicon Valley Data Science (SVDS): Extending Cassandra For Fun and Profit

With just a few modifications, you can leverage the Cassandra codebase to build new and interesting distributed systems. All it takes is a basic understanding of some Cassandra internals, and some Java skill. In this presentation I will walk you through the practical considerations, such as determining which use-cases may warrant extending or embedding Cassandra, and the steps involved to add new functionality to the database. Participants will learn how they can use Cassandra as a platform for building a custom distributed system, while gaining a code-level understanding of Cassandra internals.

Randy Fradin on Blackrock’s multi-tenant Cassandra customizations

Randy Fradin, Vice President, Blackrock: Multi-Tenancy in Cassandra at BlackRock

At BlackRock, we use Apache Cassandra in a variety of ways to help power our Aladdin investment management platform. In this talk I will give an overview of our use of Cassandra, with an emphasis on how we manage multi-tenancy in our Cassandra infrastructure. Multi-tenancy can mean different things to different people, but it often comes with added requirements related to security, isolation, and administration. I’ll talk about how we operate (and make changes to) Cassandra to accommodate these needs in our platform.

Christopher Batey on Cassandra fault injection in white-box testing

Christopher Batey, Technical Advocate, DataStax: Making Cassandra Fail (for effective testing)

Interacting with a distributed database is inherently more complex than with a single server database. Add in a few datacenters and some network issues and things get even more hairy.

Evan Chan’s presentation on FiloDB, a new OLAP database built on Cassandra and Spark

Evan Chan, Engineer, TupleJump: Breakthrough OLAP performance on Cassandra and Spark

Apache Cassandra is rock-solid and widely deployed for OLTP and real-time applications, but it is typically not thought of as an OLAP database for analytical queries. This talk will show architectures and techniques for combining Apache Cassandra and Spark to yield a 10-1000x improvement in OLAP analytical performance. We will then introduce a new open-source project that combines the above performance improvements with the ease of use of Apache Cassandra, and compare it to implementations based on Hadoop and Parquet.

Radovan Zvoncek on a new approach to anti-entropy (repair) from Spotify

Radovan Zvonek, Backend Engineer, Spotify: Automating Cassandra Repairs

Anti-entropy repairs are known to be a very peculiar maintenance operation of Cassandra clusters. They are problematic mostly because of the potential of having negative impact on the cluster’s performance. Another problematic aspect is the difficulty of managing the repairs of Cassandra clusters in a careful way that would prevent the negative performance impact.

Russell Spitzer’s talk on the internals of the Spark Cassandra Connector

Russell Spitzer, Software Engineer, DataStax: The Spark Cassandra Connector: Past, Present and Future

It’s the year 2015, and while we don’t have hoverboards and self drying jackets we do have the next best thing, an Open Source Connector Between Apache Spark and Cassandra. Explore the general architecture of the connector and become an expert on how Spark and Cassandra can work together in harmony. Learn about how the DataStax Enterprise Integration with Spark provides exciting new features like Paxos Enabled High Availability to the Spark Master. Also get a sneak peak at the new and exciting features to come in the Spark Connector and the DSE Integration! If you are writing a Spark application that needs access to Cassandra, this talk is for you.

Carl Yeksigian on adding materialized views to Cassandra 3.0

Carl Yeksigan, Cassandra Developer, DataStax: Materialized Views

New for Cassandra 3.0, we are introducing Materialized Views which allows for server-side denormalization and providing eventual consistency between the views and the base data.

Avi Kivity on the performance gains he delivered by taking a full-stack approach to optimizing Cassandra at Cloudius

Avi Kivity, CTO, Cloudius Systems LTD: 1 Million CQL Operations Per Server

CPU core counts continue to grow, along with the raw speed of networking and storage devices available on a modern system. Software design approaches that were valid and safe even a few years ago are no longer sustainable. On new hardware, the performance of standard workloads depends more on locking and coordination across cores than on performance of an individual core.

Benjamin Lerer’s talk describing how Cassandra processes your CQL WHERE clause

Benjamin Lerer, Software Engineer, DataStax: A Deep Look at the CQL WHERE Clause

Although CQL and SQL have a similar syntax, there are many differences that may confuse users. I will explain what the CQL WHERE clause supports and how Cassandra processes it internally.

Per Otterstom on how Ericsson extends Cassandra to be more resilient to overload conditions

Per Otterstom, Software Engineer, Ericsson: Overload Protection in a Hostile Environment

Failing hardware or a temporary burst of requests should not cause any problems in a properly dimensioned Cassandra cluster. But sometimes external events such as product launches or public holidays can set of an avalanche of requests which may threaten your system integrity. In this talk we will show how to apply some smart overload protection techniques to Cassandra. We will share how we used one of Cassandra’s many customization points to achieve this and our experiences from that.

Ryan McGuire and Philip Thompson on the tools they have built at DataStax QA to test Cassandra

Ryan McGuire, Manager of Test Engineering, Cassandra DataStax: Ramping Up Cassandra QA
Learn what DataStax is doing to ensure Cassandra releases are of high quality through functional test engineering and performance testing. Learn about the public testing resources that are available to the open source community that offer a common self-service experience to Cassandra contributors.



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