Database definition

What is Cassandra (Apache Cassandra)?

Apache Cassandra is an open source distributed database system designed to store and manage large amounts of data on commodity servers. Cassandra can serve as both a real-time operational data store for online transactional applications and a read-intensive database for large-scale Business Intelligence (BI) systems.

Originally created for Facebook, Cassandra is designed to have symmetric peer-to-peer nodes, instead of master or named nodes, to ensure there can never be a single point of failure (SPoF). Cassandra automatically partitions data across all nodes in the DB cluster, but the administrator has the power to determine what data will be replicated and how many copies of the data will be created.

After Facebook opened the code as open source, Cassandra became an Apache incubator project in 2008 and a top Apache project in 2010. As of this writing, Cassandra deployments include Netflix, Digg, Adobe , Twitter, HP, IBM, Rackspace, Cisco and Reddit.

The name Cassandra was inspired by the beautiful mystical seer from Greek mythology whose predictions for the future were never believed.

This was last updated in May 2012


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