• 0.6.5
  • Date Added
    (to site)

    September 8th, 2010
  • Author

    The Apache Software Foundation
  • License

    Apache License, Version 2.0 (?)
  • Description


    Cassandra is an open source distributed database management system. Led by the Apache Software Foundation it was designed to handle very large amounts of data spread out across many commodity servers while providing a highly available service with no single point of failure.

    It is a NoSQL solution that was initially developed by Facebook and powers their Inbox Search feature. Cassandra provides a structured key-value store with eventual consistency. Keys map to multiple values, which are grouped into column families. The column families are fixed when a Cassandra database is created, but columns can be added to a family at any time.

    Key features of the system include:

    - Decentralized: every node in the cluster is identical. There is no single point of failure.

    - Fault-tolerant: data is automatically replicated to multiple nodes for fault-tolerance. Replication across multiple data centers is supported. Failed nodes can be replaced with no downtime.

    - Tunable consistency: writes and reads offer a tunable ConsistencyLevel, all the way from “writes never fail” to “block for all replicas to be readable,” with the quorum level in the middle.

    - Elasticity: Read and write throughput both increase linearly as new machines are added, with no downtime or interruption to applications.

    Further Info & Reading

    For a more in-depth analysis and practical guide to Cassandra take a look at Eben Hewitt’s Cassandra: The Definitive Guide


    Alternatively, Beautiful Data by Toby Segaran and Jeff Hammerbacher provides an excellent overview of working with data from the perspective of 39 contributors working on projects ranging from the Mars lander to a Radiohead video. The book also includes a section on Cassandra.

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