Gartner Assesses DataStax EnterpriseMarch 2, 2016
This month Gartner published a new report entitled, “Assessment of DataStax Enterprise With Cassandra” that performed an assessment of DataStax Enterprise (DSE) against “must-have” criteria for tabular NoSQL databases (such as advanced security features and built-in analytics).
I’d like to suggest two take-away’s from Gartner’s report that you should keep in mind when evaluating tabular NoSQL DBMS’s for your cloud applications. 
Requirements for Enterprise Applications
This might be the first time that I’ve seen a top industry analyst group clearly identify must-have requirements for production NoSQL databases vs. just the usual “is it in there?” checklist set of items. Their classification spells out an important difference between what’s oftentimes found in open source project software vs. commercial software that builds on an open source base.
Apache Cassandra is an innovative, fast-moving NoSQL database project driven by the open source community. On the other hand, DataStax Enterprise is a database product built on proven open source technology that delivers the functionality, tooling, certification, and support required by today’s enterprises to power their cloud applications.
Each are developed and released differently and contain feature sets that are appropriate for their target users. Take, for example, the security features found in both sets of software. In Cassandra, you’ll find a solid security foundation that consists of standard authentication and authorization and protection for data that’s in flight between clients and a database cluster.
However, you’ll find advanced security in DSE that the vast majority of community users don’t require: strong integration with external security software packages (e.g. Kerberos, LDAP, Active Directory), granular encryption for data at rest, and flexible data auditing to track the changes in and usage of a database. While these items are of little interest to the Cassandra open source community, they very much are required by enterprise financial institutions, government agencies, and major retailers who have to satisfy security standards such as SOX and PCI.
Gartner rightly calls out advanced security and other enterprise features like built-in analytics, a visual management and monitoring framework, and similar commercial extensions as must-have’s for production database environments.
Addressing Some Important Questions
One last thing I’d like to mention is that Gartner’s report does a nice job of answering key questions many users ask about when and where to deploy distributed databases.
Years ago, I had to constantly respond to questions from IT professionals that centered on why they should use a distributed database like DataStax Enterprise. No more.
Rather than the “Why Should I?” question, I get the “How do I?” and “Where do I?” questions much more today. Enterprises now understand why their cloud applications need a database like DataStax Enterprise and they’ve moved on to figuring out how to smartly deploy DSE throughout their organization and what use cases to target.
In their report, Gartner correctly bifurcates operational database platforms from the more batch-oriented and purely analytic offerings of the Hadoop vendors. Gartner also rightly points out that a distributed database platform is meant for use cases that an RDBMS’s architecture simply can’t handle and, conversely, they also discuss how distributed databases shouldn’t be deployed for situations that fit nicely within an RDBMS’s domain.
For more details on answering the ‘how’ and ‘where’ questions of DSE, please visit the customers page on our website that contains many detailed examples and use cases of enterprises successfully deploying DSE in their organization.
More To Come
While we’re very pleased with the capabilities currently offered in DataStax Enterprise, we’re working hard to deliver even more with upcoming versions of DSE. We’ll soon be releasing some exciting new features, not the least of which are adaptive data management capabilities for the DSE platform that provide the strongest multi-model support that we know of for any database.
To learn more about DSE and to get downloads of our software, please visit our resources and downloads pages of the website. And please contact us if you have any questions about the capabilities DataStax Enterprise offers.
 Gartner, Assessment of DataStax Enterprise with Cassandra, February 3, 2016
 At DataStax we define a cloud application as an application with many endpoints including browsers, mobile devices, and/or machines that are geographically distributed, intensely transactional (high velocity reads and/or writes), always available, and instantaneously and intelligently responsive no matter the number of users or machines using the application.
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