DataStax adds in-memory option to Cassandra database

Facebook-Data-Center-ProjectDataStax is continuing its campaign against Oracle with DataStax Enterprise 4.0, a new version of its flagship Cassandra distro that presents a potentially more affordable alternative to the database giant’s in-memory option. Like Larry Ellison, the NoSQL startup is touting a 100-fold increase in performance.

Besides being fast, the in-memory option introduced with DataStax Enterprise 4.0 is also easy to use, and allows developers to treat in-memory objects the same way they would regular Cassandra tables. The platform is based on the 2.0 release of the open-source database, which adds support for lightweight transactions and includes improvements to the native query language that make it a bit easier to import data from relational systems. That helps clear a migration path for slow-moving enterprises with large-scale Oracle investments to sustain—a task that consumes a lot of time and resources but doesn’t generate any quantifiable value.

NoSQL, in contrast, enables organizations to drive tangible business growth, claims Robin Schumacher, Vice President of Products at DataStax. And he added that customers are voting with their wallets. “One of the ways that we’re seeing this differential happen right now in the marketplace between a RDBMS and NoSQL is an RDBMS is very good for counting money,” Schumacher remarked in an interview on siliconANGLE’s theCUBE at Oracle OpenWorld 2013. “We see it in the backend for counting operations and things like that, but our customers are using NoSQL to make money. It is presenting product recommendation, user behavior pattern analysis, how can I make money, how can I reach customers more effectively. That’s how they’re using NoSQL.”

To allow organizations to deliver on the potential of NoSQL, which is turning out to be much easier said than done according to Wikibon analyst Jeff Kelly, DataStax Enterprise 4.0 offers new search functionality that promises to boost developer productivity. It also speeds up internal cluster communications to better accommodate multi-tenant Web applications that serve large numbers of concurrent requests.

For admins, the release provides a storage tiering capability that makes it possible to route data to in-memory objects, flash memory or disk drives, depending on the specific performance requirements of different workloads. The feature is complemented by a new version of the OpsCenter monitoring tool that packs a built-in capacity planner and “custom graphing enhancements” designed to simplify troubleshooting.