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Apache Cassandra: An Overview


The Apache Cassandra Project is aimed at the development of a highly scalable distributed database. One of its primary aims is to integrate Dynamo (Amazon’s key-value storage system) and BigTable (Google’s ‘ColumnFamily’ data model), both of which are designed to be highly scalable.

Its claimed feature set can be roughly broken down into the following.

  • Usage: Cassandra has been used at a number of high-profile companies, such as Twitter, Facebook, Digg and Reddit.
  • Fault-Tolerant: Cassandra possesses an ability for automatic replication across multiple nodes and multiple data centres. Failed nodes can be replaced without downtime.
  • Decentralised: every node is identical.
  • “Rich Data Model:” the data model is not limited to key/value data retrieval.
  • Elasticity: I/O throughput increases linearly as new machines are added.
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