TechnologyMarch 1, 2022

Cassandra Without the Pain: Say Goodbye to Operational Overhead With Astra DB

Lorena Hathaway
Lorena Hathaway
Cassandra Without the Pain: Say Goodbye to Operational Overhead With Astra DB

When enterprises go digital, they generate massive amounts of data. To harness it, they need globally distributed, cloud-based, always-on apps that make users happy in real time. How does  Best Buy, a multinational consumer electronics brand, provide its customers instantaneous price matching and real-time inventory awareness, even during holiday traffic spikes? How does Netflix offer real-time movie recommendations based on your viewing history?

Both companies are among the many that have abandoned SQL databases and are using open source NoSQL Apache Cassandra® as their globally distributed database. Cassandra is popular with developers for many reasons. It’s scalable, highly resilient and fault tolerant, reads rapidly and writes even faster, and can handle massive amounts of complex and rapidly changing data in realtime.

So, what’s not to love?  Two words: operational overhead. 

The complexity of infrastructure setup, combined with installing, configuring, securing, operating  and scaling Cassandra translates into pain for operators and/or developers. However, while it can be complex to implement and maintain, Cassandra could (and still can) always be counted on to do the job.

Today, you can enjoy all the benefits of Cassandra without the pain, so you can do more with your data. Astra DB is a cloud database built on Cassandra that is available as a serverless, pay-as-you-go managed service. It’s the leading database for developers building Cassandra apps faster — without the time and cost of self-managed operations — with features including: 

  • The ability to deploy to AWS, Azure or Google Cloud in minutes using our recommended configurations, in any region, or multi-region — no infrastructure expertise required.
  • A 24/7 monitored, fully managed cloud service from expert Cassandra SREs that you can leverage with the push of a button.
  • High availability by default for single region databases by using multiple availability zones.
  • An AIOps service that autoscales the system both up and down, using realtime and historical data to make scaling/rate limiting decisions, driven by both ML and analytics.
  • A unified compaction and repair service that ensures Cassandra’s read performance and data integrity.
  • A monitoring and observability service that allows you to easily collect and visualize operational data.
  • A coordination service that automatically exposes databases as developer APIs with zero setup or management and enables cost efficient scaling by separating query coordination and storage.
  • Multi-region support enables disaster recovery that you can deploy anywhere for your hot/warm/cold strategy, at significantly lower cost verus traditional instance-based approaches.
  • Automated hourly backups and a moving 20-day snapshot history window for your data.
  • A Kubernetes native, multi-tenant system that doesn’t compromise safety or security.

While security is always important, for data it is absolutely critical. Operations staff are often the ones who provision and configure security capabilties, depending on the needs of the business and the application developers. And all too often, they will be tasked with the care and feeding of multiple, disparate databases they may not be familiar with. This introduces business risk and often is demoralizing for staff working with databases that are customer-facing. Astra DB’s turnkey security eliminates this pain by allowing busy ops people to focus on higher-value activity, by reducing or eliminating work like:

  • Achieving System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 compliance for your Cassandra environment
  • Coding SSO integration with SAML providers like Azure AD, Okta, or OneLogin
  • Providing private link connectivity to bridge VPCs
  • Providing intrusion detection and prevention
  • Specifying and maintaining IP access lists
  • Specifying and maintaining organizations’ role-based access control (RBAC)
  • Setting up internode and app-to-database TLS encryption
  • Providing at-rest data encryption with encryption keys you provide.
  • Providing token authorization for application developer APIs
  • Allowing centralized administration audit logging versus logging-per-node

This all allows teams to return their focus to application development. Astra DB is ready for key-value, tabular/wide column, and document NoSQL workloads. The flexibility for both schemaless JSON documents and schema-first approaches (with CQL-based drivers and the other developer APIs) extends the scope of your database skills wider and farther. 

Today, testing and release management are a more important part of the developer mix than ever before. That’s why Astra DB was built with continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) in mind so it fits naturally into your DevOps practices. True auto scaling doesn’t just scale up, it also scales down. That means when you’re using our Terraform Provider or DevOps API you’ll see lower costs (and complexity) to develop, maintain, and execute your pipelines. 

Developers can experiment rapidly and build fast, modern apps on a powerful, reliable database, knowing that their projects can scale without limits. Best of all, your Astra DB database skills will travel with you to any cloud provider. 

There’s no need to go at it alone with your migration! We don’t just provide expert tech support and migration consulting services. Astra DB also includes tools like CQL Proxy that can adapt your application with no code changes and ds-bulk, zero-downtime live migration to help with data migration. 

Try Astra DB today and you’ll quickly see why it's the preferred choice of developers working for Venmo, Barracuda, Priceline, and other leading organizations. 

Get started now and receive $300/year in free credit with the most generous free tier of any DBaaS. That’s up to 80GB each month! You can sign up with Google, GitHub, or your email with no credit card required and start coding in five minutes.

Cassandra Without the Pain. Feel It.

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devopsdata operationsCloudApache Cassandra™DataStax Astra DBNoSQL

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