DataStax revs up its enterprise-focused Cassandra database

Customer umbrella

DataStax Inc., which sells an enterprise version of the Apache Cassandra NoSQL database, today said it has tripled the speed of operational analytics compared with an open-source combination of Cassandra and Apache Spark in the newest version of its DataStax Enterprise product.

The company, which has raised $190 million in venture financing, touts its enterprise product as a high-availability, high-performance database that is used by some of the world’s largest companies, including Netflix Inc., Safeway Inc., The ING Group, Adobe Systems Inc., Intuit Inc., Target Stores Inc. and eBay Inc.

The company also said that in the new 5.1 version, it simplified management of multi-tenant software-as-a-service applications, introduced a new HDFS-compatible file system that has no single point of failure. And it added a single development environment that covers both Cassandra and the graph database engine technology it acquired two years ago with the purchase of Aurelius LLC.

The new version of DataStax Enterprise is also production-certified with Apache Spark version 2.0. A simplified graph application program interface improves integration with Spark frames to “brings you much deeper ability to do analytics and search under the covers,” said DataStax Chief Executive Billy Bosworth.

DataStax is also brushing up its OpsCenter management suite with improved visual management capabilities, better automatic repair operations, built-in resiliency and fine-grained control and reporting. OpsCenter 6.1 also provides more flexible backup and restore capabilities and better support for Amazon Web Services’ S3 cloud backups, the company said.

The company’s latest initiative is to appeal to the current craze for improved customer experience.”We’re narrowing our field of expertise to help you figure out how to bring better experiences to market much faster,” Bosworth said. For example, retailers often struggle with data management at the platform-as-a-service layer, particularly when one or more cloud platforms is involved. “That’s where we fit,” he said. “We keep the data management layer consistent and our managed cloud provides all of the operations, provisioning and management.”

Under the new customer experience initiative, DataStax will deploy consultants and architects to customer sites to show them how to integrate Cassandra with their existing infrastructure. “We’ll show you which pieces you should we bring into DataStax, which to leave in legacy applications and which to move to cloud,” Bosworth said. DataStax is upping its investment in its partner ecosystem and training services in line with the initiative.

The company is betting that customers will find that using NoSQL technology for customer experience applications “is like using Excel,” he said. “You may not use very much of the product at first, but once you discover pivot tables you immediately come up with five other applications.”

The unified development environment for Cassandra and the DataStax Enterprise Graph combines the flexibility of graph technology with the scalability of NoSQL. Graph databases establish relationships between data elements in a way that shortcuts the need to traverse relational tables. For example, a graph database can link products in a catalog to various customer types to identify the likelihood that a person who buys one product will also buy another. Both Cassandra and graph databases are frequently used for recommendation engines and fraud detection.

The new version is also production-certified for Apache Solr 6.0, meaning that index performance has been improved to make search faster and easier to build into applications. DataStax Enterprise 5.1 and DataStax OpsCenter 6.1 will be available for download on April 4.

Photo: Pixabay