27 February, 2021

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the general availability of Amazon Keyspaces for Apache Cassandra, a scalable, highly available, and fully managed database service for Cassandra workloads.

Amazon Keyspaces supports the same application code, Apache 2.0 licensed drivers, and developer tools that customers running Cassandra workloads use today.

According to AWS official press-post, customers can easily migrate on-premises Cassandra workloads to the cloud, without the worry of managing underlying infrastructure, while realizing superior scalability, availability, and manageability.

What are the benefits of Amazon Keyspaces for Apache Cassandra:

  • no servers to manage
  • no need to provision, configure, and operate large Cassandra clusters
  • no need to manually add or remove nodes
  • no need to rebalance partitions as traffic scales up or down
  • no up-front investments required to use Amazon Keyspaces

The solution has come after many customers using AWS asked for help running, scaling, and managing their Cassandra database deployments because managing large Cassandra clusters on-premises with hundreds of terabytes of data and millions of reads and writes per second is difficult and complex.

Cassandra requires specialized expertise to set up, configure, and maintain the underlying infrastructure, and necessitates a deep understanding of the entire application stack, including the Apache Cassandra open source software. Aside from scaling clusters, customers must secure, patch, and operate Cassandra.

Managing and scaling Cassandra clusters requires regularly adjusting complex configuration settings, manually adding or removing nodes, and rebalancing partitions, which can adversely affect availability and performance. Most customers with variable workloads also find it challenging to scale clusters up and down, so they often end up building clusters for peak loads and incur the unnecessary cost of paying for unused capacity. And, many customers also complain that they are unable to upgrade their cluster reliably due to Cassandra’s clunky rollback and debugging features, so instead they run outdated versions of Cassandra.

Amazon Keyspaces provides a scalable, highly available, and fully managed Cassandra-compatible database service.

Amazon Keyspaces is compatible with the open-source Apache Cassandra Query Language (CQL) API, enabling customers to migrate their workloads to Amazon Keyspaces and use the same Cassandra application code, Apache 2.0 licensed drivers, and tools that they use today.

 

Shawn Bice

“Many customers have self-managed Cassandra on Amazon EC2 or on-premises for some time, and these customers tell us that managing large Cassandra clusters is difficult because it requires specialized expertise to set up, configure, and maintain the underlying infrastructure, and necessitates a deep understanding of the entire application stack, including the Apache Cassandra open source software,” said Shawn Bice, Vice President, Databases, AWS. 

Amazon Keyspaces is serverless, so customers no longer need to provision, configure, and operate large Cassandra clusters, nor manually add or remove nodes, or rebalance partitions as traffic scales up or down. Amazon Keyspaces takes care of all of this.

“Amazon Keyspaces gives customers the ability to run Cassandra without having to worry about managing the underlying hardware, and because it’s also serverless, customers can stand up Cassandra clusters in minutes and scale their database up and down with ease based on the needs of their application” explained Shawn Bice. 

Amazon Keyspaces provides customers with single-digit millisecond performance at any scale, and can scale tables up and down automatically based on actual application traffic, with virtually unlimited throughput and storage. Amazon Keyspaces offers both on-demand and provisioned capacity modes.

Customers with existing Cassandra tables running on-premises or on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) can easily migrate those tables to Amazon Keyspaces using AWS services like Amazon EMR or open-source tools like the Cassandra Query Language Shell (cqlsh). Amazon Keyspaces integrates with other AWS services.

Customer experience

“We really like the flexibility that Cassandra offers our developers, and we are excited about using Amazon Keyspaces,” said Amanda Smith, Technology Development Manager, Halliburton. 

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. As part of Data Foundation, a DecisionSpace® 365 data platform, Halliburton uses a variety of purpose-built databases, including Cassandra.

“Amazon Keyspaces integrates with other AWS services, has built-in enterprise features, such as encryption, and provides us with a scalable, highly available, fully managed, and serverless option to run our Cassandra workloads” she stated.

Elsevier is a global information analytics business that provides scientists and clinicians with digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education.

“We are migrating one of our customer-facing big-data analytics products to leverage latest technologies, and Cassandra meets our use case to store information because of its performance and scalability. However, we were concerned about managing and monitoring the Cassandra infrastructure due to its complexity and time required to manage and support,” said Edward Lewis, Manager of Information Technology, Elsevier. “Amazon Keyspaces is fully managed and serverless, giving us the scalability, fast performance, and reliability we need to run our applications.”

To get started with Amazon Keyspaces, visit: http://aws.amazon.com/keyspaces.

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