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Patrick McFadin, VP of Developer Relations

DataStax Developer Day Paris: The Apache Cassandra™ Difference

By Patrick McFadin, VP of Developer RelationsNovember 29, 2018

After four days touring North America and a first European date in London, the sixth and last Developer Day organized by DataStax was held in Paris on Thursday, November 8. It was an opportunity for the 60 developers present to get a deep-dive introduction to Apache Cassandra™(Core Cassandra, Cassandra Data Modeling, and Application Development) and better known DataStax Enterprise (DSE; and its features of Search, Analytics, Graph, Operations, and Security). Above all, it was a chance to meet other engineers working on similar problems and for the DataStax teams there to help them be successful.

How Can Cassandra Help Businesses?

Hyper personalization, omnichannel customer experiences, access to real-time data around the world… Global customer expectations are pushing towards closer customer proximity. As a result, it is essential to build today for the uses of tomorrow. That’s why the participants in Developer Day Paris were particularly interested in the core capabilities of Apache Cassandra: scale, performance, and replication; try to think of a single application today that doesn’t need those.

A first approach was for some participants to determine if the technology fit their particular use case,  be it customer experience, ecommerce, or traditional industry and security. Those more experienced in Apache Cassandra technology had a chance to spend more one-on-one time with DataStax teams to tune data models and plan production deployments.

What is Apache Cassandra technology? What are the specificities? What are the benefits of DSE? How are the data replicated? What level of consistency should you choose? How should you create your data model? What are the various features integrated into the Cassandra platform? These are examples of the types of questions we love and there was plenty of that and more in our hands-on workshops. Spending time with our experts was a great way to get questions answered and even create a few new ones.

High Performance and High Availability

One of the main points of interest posted by the developers: the high performance at scale possible by Cassandra. Cassandra is the only database that offers linear scalability. Need more capacity or performance? Just add one or more additional nodes!

Another key advantage is having the flexibility and ability to deploy Cassandra on any type of cloud (private, on-premises, public, hybrid, or multi-cloud), and also having the ability to replicate data not only between nodes but also between data centers, ensuring data availability even in the event of a node failure (availability enhanced by Cassandra’s masterless architecture).

Multi-Cloud: the Future of Cloud?

In this context of globalization of uses and diversification of data sources, multi-cloud issues are becoming a major issue. The reason? Some countries such as China require companies to use data centers on their territory. In response, a multi-cloud strategy eliminates its cloud provider and avoids any lock-in when deploying new services while providing the flexibility required to handle regulatory issues.

The guarantee of a comprehensive and ubiquitous end-to-end cloud strategy provides a significant competitive advantage at a time when responsiveness is key. DataStax offers Cassandra: a real alternative to leading cloud providers such as Google, Amazon AWS, and Microsoft Azure. The plenary session demonstration of running applications in multiple clouds and an on-premises data centers illustrated a very simple but very real, and very powerful, potential future.

This topic becomes all-the-more valid when you consider that all of  today’s enterprises are now technology companies and data-driven. For this reason, developers need to anticipate future developments by placing data as the first problem to solve with their applications right from the design stage. A simple migration in the cloud cannot guarantee the availability or the level of performance of the applications if they’re not designed with inherent portability and geolocation as a first principle. Otherwise, the IT and business teams may later find themselves unable to extract relevant information with high added-value for the company.

That’s what this Developer Day was all about: the difference between a regular cloud-based database and a DataStax/Cassandra-based cloud database. The difference is notable and key to enterprises’ success in deploying hybrid and/or multi-cloud applications.

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