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Easily Connect Apache Cassandra® Apps to Datastax's Serverless DBaaS with our CQL Proxy

Many IT organizations are adopting a fully managed database-as-a-service (DBaaS) in order to reduce their operational overhead and scale their applications in the public cloud of their choice. Reduced operational brings agility to IT teams allowing them to deliver faster their new innovations as a value add to their customers.  

Moving to serverless Astra DB allows companies to enjoy significant TCO savings by paying only for what they consume.  This eliminates operational costs and burning down their existing public cloud commits. Companies that currently manage their Apache Cassandra® footprint on-premises will see an immediate financial benefit by moving from upfront fixed capital expenses to consumption-based operational expenses. And for companies who are self-managing on public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS),  moving to Astra DB serverless can reduce their TCO by up to 70% because they pay only for the compute and storage resources required that includes operational savings.

In this blog, we will introduce and detail DataStax CQL Proxy that simplifies the way you can connect existing apps to Astra DB. 

Introducing DataStax CQL Proxy

Moving existing Apache Cassandra® applications to Astra DB involves sorting out a mix of different drivers, different driver versions, and different versions of Java. When getting alignment on these differences requires changes to your connection string and sometimes even switching dependencies or drivers, cloud migration can seem daunting. DataStax CQL Proxy is a new open source tool to help simplify connecting to Astra DB without having to change your Cassandra driver (DataStax or community-provided), driver version, and or framework (springdata, lagom, akka-persistence-cassandra, quarkus, etc.). CQL Proxy is an important additional tool in your lift-and-shift strategy because it’s a data proxy that simplifies connecting your applications to Astra DB.

CQL Proxy handles the cloud network connection for your Cassandra apps to Astra DB so that network code within your driver or application does not have to change. CQL Proxy is designed to securely forward your application's CQL traffic to an appropriate database service. CQL Proxy will auto-discover and auto-configure communication with Astra DB. Then with a simple network configuration change to point to CQL Proxy’s local address, your applications can easily talk to Astra DB.

Figure 1

Figure 1:  Astra CQL Concept

DataStax CQL Proxy works with different versions of Cassandra, across driver versions and driver languages. In other words: 

  • If your applications run on older versions of Cassandra, CQL Proxy allows you to run them on Cassandra 4.x or Astra DB.
  • If your apps are using an older driver (like Java 2) to connect to Cassandra, CQL Proxy will connect them to Cassandra 4.x or Astra DB.
  • If your language is not supported by Cassandra or DataStax, simply write a lightweight driver and you’re good to go.

Essentially, you get an upgrade to your data backend at the same time as you lift and shift your applications to fully-managed Astra DB serverless on the public cloud of your choice with minimal effort.

“Compared to changing our use of native drivers, CQL Proxy saved us time and made our work much simpler.” Russell Miller, COO, Ryzeo

Simplifying the network connections and security for migrations

Native drivers include network management code in addition to the core query engine code, in order to manage connectivity among nodes in the network. This violates cloud-native design principles, where there should be a separation of concerns between network management that is handled by the cloud infrastructure, and query management that is properly part of the application.

CQL Proxy solves this dilemma by automatically handling network management on behalf of your application through a secure connection, authentication, and authorization.  These functions no longer have to be handled by the driver to lighten the burden applications place on them.

Using CQL Proxy simplifies things by replacing heavy drivers with lightweight network management code and provides separate application management with a core query engine.

CQL Proxy also sets up and manages the secure connect bundle on your behalf out of the box, making the connectivity from your applications to Astra DB secure. You no longer need to fuss with the bundle’s installation and configuration to ensure your Cassandra connections are properly encrypted and authenticated.

One of the biggest challenges when moving existing applications to a different backend is the differences in network configuration between on-premise and various public clouds. Changing application code to change network configuration is a nonstarter for many organizations. CQL Proxy elegantly removes this obstacle, bringing a cloud-centric separation of concerns between network code and application code to your on premise environment. Now your applications can be cloud aware with a simple configuration change.

Try and explore Astra DB and CQL Proxy by signing up here.

Learn More

If you want to know more about DataStax CQL Proxy, check out these resources:

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