The Cassandra Way, According to DataStax VP

DataStax vice president of products Robin Schumacher and marketing head Lara Shackelford has a very solid take on big data as it stands today. The two executives believe that Apache Cassandra.  The open-source platform on which their company’s portfolio is built, has a big role to play in this trend, and they told Wikibon analyst Jeff Kelly all about it at Strata Conference + Hadoop World 2012.

Schumacher kicks off the interview by stressing that big data is real, and so are the problems that are faced by enterprises who want to tap it into. High velocity, complexity and massive volumes are all big considerations for every segment, including DataStax’s own clients.

The company lists Netflix, Thompson Reuters and a number of other household names as customers. It also has a big install base in healthcare – this is when Schumacher gets specific.

He says that one organization, Healthcare Anytime, was only able to process 2,000 consumer profiles an hour on its legacy infrastructure. It switched to NoSQL from pure business necessity and can now process data at much greater speeds; this enables it to get these workloads faster into Hadoop, and leverage the results in the applications that sit on top. That includes enterprise search functionality, which Schumacher noted his company provides as well.

Jeff then asks the executives’ opinion on the claim that big data is not just a technology, but rather a whole new information mindset. Lara Shackelford agrees: the marketing VP says that data powers apps with a direct and very tangible impact on the bottom line – still the top priority for any organization. She stresses this affects both chief information officers and CMOs, who are in turn also spending more on analytics to realize direct improvements in merchandising  efforts.

See the full interview below.  Want more? Watch our entire Strata + Hadoop World playlist here.