Chapter 2. Introducing Cassandra

An invention has to make sense in the world in which it is finished, not the world in which it is started.

Ray Kurzweil

In the previous chapter, we discussed the emergence of nonrelational database technologies in order to meet the increasing demands of modern web scale applications. In this chapter, we’ll focus on Cassandra’s value proposition and key tenets to show how it rises to the challenge. You’ll also learn about Cassandra’s history and how you can get involved in the open source community that maintains Cassandra.

The Cassandra Elevator Pitch

Hollywood screenwriters and software entrepreneurs are often advised to have their “elevator pitch” ready. This is a summary of exactly what their product is all about—concise, clear, and brief enough to deliver in just a minute or two, in the lucky event that they find themselves sharing an elevator with an executive, agent, or investor who might consider funding their project. Cassandra has a compelling story, so let’s boil it down to an elevator pitch that you can present to your manager or colleagues should the occasion arise.

Cassandra in 50 Words or Less

“Apache Cassandra is an open source, distributed, decentralized, elastically scalable, highly available, fault-tolerant, tuneably consistent, row-oriented database. Cassandra bases its distribution design on Amazon’s Dynamo and its data model on Google’s Bigtable, with a query language similar to SQL. Created at Facebook, it now powers cloud-scale ...

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