Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Powered by DataStax Enterprise

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1 Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Powered by DataStax Enterprise Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Cover

2 Table of Contents 1. Introducing Managed Cassandra 1 2. Challenges of Managing Cassandra 2 3. Benefits of Managed Cassandra 3 4. Managed Cassandra vs. Unmanaged Hosting 7 5. Common Use Cases 8 6. Conclusion 9 Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Contents

3 1. Introducing Managed Cassandra Apache Cassandra is an open source, distributed database. Its masterless, shared-nothing architecture provides operational database applications with near-constant uptime and simple, linear scalability. Cassandra provides for a flexible data model capable of storing modern datatypes structured, semi-structured and unstructured that run through today s web/mobile applications. However, while Cassandra s masterless architecture makes it easy to maintain at first, ensuring optimal performance becomes increasingly complex as you scale, and soon requires costly expertise that is often difficult and time-consuming to find and retain. In many cases, developers spend too much time maintaining and troubleshooting the database layer, which distracts them from writing code. Managed Cassandra is a production-ready database service built on the award-winning DataStax Enterprise (DSE) platform that frees developers to focus on building innovative apps. It simplifies database management by offering pre-configured, fully managed, highly performant, highly available Cassandra instances, backed by industryleading Fanatical Support 24x7x365. By combining purpose-built technology with leading expertise, the Managed Cassandra platform offers: 1. Simplified management 2. Bare-metal performance 3. Highly available, production-ready instances 4. Easy, powerful scalability DSE IS BUILT FOR THE ENTERPRISE WITH THE FOLLOWING FEATURES: Production-certified Cassandra with full software lifecycle management Comprehensive enterprise security Automatic management services for transparent maintenance operations Built-in enterprise search capabilities on Cassandra data Integrated streaming, real-time, batch analytics, and Hadoop integration Workload management for transactional, analytic and search operations In-memory option for lightning-fast transactional and analytics workloads 5. Data and application portability Managed Cassandra is ideal for businesses that need the scalability, flexibility and availability of NoSQL to power innovative web, mobile or internet-of-things (IoT) apps, but that also need: The reliability of a production-ready solution Fast time-to-market provided by a turn-key solution Freedom to have their developers focus on coding and their IT focus on innovating, rather than on maintenance and tuning at the database layer. Visual management and monitoring from any device Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 1

4 2. Challenges of Managing Cassandra It s easy for many developers to start building applications with Cassandra. And because all nodes in a cluster are the same, there are no complex software tiers to manage. This makes maintenance relatively simple at first. However, maintaining performance and ensuring high availability present a range of challenges as your environment grows. NEXT-GEN APPS PLACE NEW DEMANDS ON DATABASES Web and mobile apps have new availability and scalability demands that traditional database technologies aren t always well suited for. Cassandra s distributed, always-on architecture is ideal for many of these use cases. However, as we know from the hundreds of large, innovative companies that use it to power their modern applications, enterprises require the reliability of a production-ready solution to ensure that Cassandra is (1) quick to deploy, (2) able to meet their availability and security requirements, and (3) properly architected to achieve significant scale. MANAGING CASSANDRA STRAINS EXISTING TECHNICAL RESOURCES Many businesses that choose Cassandra find that their developers are spending too much time tuning, patching, monitoring and troubleshooting database performance and rethinking configuration decisions as opposed to writing code. This can slow time-to-market, decrease application quality, and deprive technical contributors of the time they need to pursue new ideas. EXPERTISE IS SCARCE AND EXPENSIVE Because Cassandra is a relatively new technology, it s often both difficult and expensive to find, hire and retain employees with a proven track record of managing it in large production environments. This not only puts additional pressure on existing resources, but can also create a host of other complexities including scaling, maintaining, securing and optimizing Cassandra beyond the initial configuration requiring specialized expertise. CONFIGURATION AND TUNING MISSTEPS IMPACT PERFORMANCE With Cassandra, there are many index design and configuration options that require specific expertise in order to optimize for performance. Mistakes can result in slower-than-desired performance or downtime, which detract from Cassandra s primary value proposition (i.e. a highly available, scalable database that doesn t compromise performance). For instance, Cassandra is written in Java. While more recent versions of Cassandra have strived to eliminate the need to tune the notoriously difficult Java Virtual Machine (JVM), some JVM tuning is still required for certain workloads. Failure to do so can result in increased latency or even failure. Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 2

5 3. Benefits of Managed Cassandra SIMPLIFIED MANAGEMENT AND ACCESS TO EXPERTISE In order to ease the burden of database management, the Managed Cassandra platform offers: i. DataStax Enterprise platform fully managed by Cassandra specialists ii. Simplified deployment, scaling and high availability iii. Simplified vendor management I. FULLY MANAGED CASSANDRA SOLUTION With Managed Cassandra, Rackspace DBAs and customer data engineers (CDEs) help design, configure, manage, scale, optimize and secure customer Cassandra environments. In addition, customers have access to a broad range of services, from schema design to query optimization. Examples of services included with Managed Cassandra Architecture design Deployment Installation and configuration Free data migration assistance Security configuration (e.g., ACL, accounts) Advanced administration, monitoring and alerting Managed patching and updates Maintenance and support Upgrades of Cassandra versions UI support Escalation support from DataStax Performance tuning and issue diagnosis Access to scaling guidance and best practices from Rackspace experts Scaling Provisioning of new instances Resizing and/or growing instances Performance tuning and issue diagnosis Optimization Query optimization Compactions Geo-synchronized clusters for Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Backups and DR Recommend and plan replication to DR site Participate in DNS management for failover to DR site Participate in DR RTO/RPO requirements Restores from snapshots Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 3

6 II. SIMPLIFIED DEPLOYMENT AND HIGH AVAILABILITY The Managed Cassandra platform includes a range of backend and customerfacing tools that simplify the management of Cassandra, saving customers time and allowing them to deploy and scale faster. Design an Optimal Configuration Customize your configuration to address your specific data requirements. With multiple reference architecture designs and flexible networking options, you can optimize your environment for your specific use case. Reduced time-to-market Speed in provisioning and growth planning to help keep you competitive. High Availability w/ Automatic Failover (by default) If a Cassandra node fails or becomes unreachable, the Java driver automatically and transparently tries other nodes in the cluster and schedules reconnections to the dead nodes in the background. Monitoring, Alerting and Reporting Monitoring and metrics collection available via user interface. Application portability Support for RackConnect and AWS Direct Connect to help minimize the impact of latency while running applications at either Rackspace or AWS data centers, respectively. III. SIMPLIFIED VENDOR MANAGEMENT When businesses juggle multiple providers for infrastructure and Database-as-a- Service (DBaaS) platform services, it can be difficult to ensure accountability and enable communication between partners. Managed Cassandra simplifies vendor management by providing Rackspace infrastructure, certified Cassandra expertise and DataStax Enterprise, with the production-certified Cassandra platform, all on a single support contract. Experts from both companies have single-pane visibility into both the infrastructure and platform/application layer, which prevents the multi-vendor complexity that often arises between infrastructure and platform providers. This ensures that Rackspace is accountable, and that customers get the answers they need in less time. Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 4

7 HIGH AVAILABILITY AND STABILITY Managed Cassandra enables you to support always-on applications with a productionready platform preconfigured for high availability, backed by world-class guaranteed uptime SLAs. You get a robust and resilient architecture with monitoring, backups and Fanatical Support 24x7x365 to preempt and solve problems. Decentralized With Cassandra s masterless architecture, data is distributed across the cluster, and every node can service any request. This means there is no single point of failure, which helps to ensure true continuous availability Custom designed architecture Allows customers to take advantage of a unique, fully managed platform optimized for Cassandra workloads backed by Cassandra experts. Fault-tolerant Data is automatically replicated to multiple nodes for faulttolerance. Failed nodes can be replaced with no downtime. Security Security features to help secure customers applications with enterprisegrade security options. Manage access with the integrated firewall and access control list (ACL). Instances terminate both plain text and SSL client traffic. OPTIMIZED CASSANDRA PERFORMANCE Managed Cassandra is a single-tenant solution certified for production environments in Datastax Enterprise and architected specifically to make Cassandra run fast from infrastructure to configuration allowing you to avoid performance issues inherent in running Cassandra on the multi-tenant public cloud. By increasing transactions-persecond and enabling fast, predictable database performance, customers can deliver a better, more consistent experience to end-users. For instance, Managed Cassandra is built on all-pcie flash-based infrastructure. This means that the entire platform utilizes a highly performant I/O subsystem ideally suited for Cassandra, leading to increased speed and improved consistency especially for applications that need to write and re-index very frequently. EASY, POWERFUL SCALABILITY With Rackspace handling instance provisioning and resizing, Managed Cassandra offers the massive scalability of dedicated single-tenant infrastructure without the challenges and hassle of manually scaling the system yourself. Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 5

8 Cassandra s distributed architecture allows you to scale horizontally by simply adding machines without requiring downtime or service interruptions. Cassandra also supplies real write/read anywhere capabilities, allowing data to be easily loaded onto commodity gear across multiple data centers. This means users can size and grow their clusters while remaining confident that they can adapt to future needs. In addition, Rackspace specialists are available to help you solve complex scalability challenges in order to prepare for rapid long-term growth or for massive usage spikes. DATA AND APPLICATION PORTABILITY The Managed Cassandra platform is built on open standards to ensure data and application portability. Because DataStax Enterprise delivers certified Cassandra built with an open source Apache license your data is always portable, with no threat of database vendor lock-in. Managed Cassandra allows you to run your application layer anywhere, giving you additional flexibility when it comes to hosting options. In addition, the platform supports both RackConnect and AWS Direct Connect, so you can minimize the impact of latency while running applications at Rackspace or AWS data centers, respectively. Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 6

9 4. Managed Cassandra vs. Unmanaged Hosting Deployment Process Performance Scaling Monitoring Availability Unmanaged Manual deployment Manual installation Manual configuration of Cassandra, OS, networking, security, monitoring and more Manual testing and optimization, with a tradeoff between rapid deployment and future scalability Performance varies on generic commodity servers not optimized for high-i/o database workloads Noisy neighbor problems on public cloud create inconsistency Must invest in technical resources to tune and optimize data structures, architecture and configurations Manual scaling On your own for unique challenges and spikes You allocate resources to monitor availability, performance and security SLAs vary Issues such as network inconsistency can impact automatic failover Managed Cassandra Automated deployment Secure, pre-optimized Cassandra instances customized for your needs Every aspect of the Managed Cassandra stack has been tuned specifically to make Cassandra run fast PCIe flash-based infrastructure Rackspace handles instance provisioning and resizing Cassandra engineers on-hand for scaling, unique challenges and spikes Rackspace s Cassandra experts proactively monitor the network, server and Cassandra for connections, lag, status of nodes, size, number of queries, and more, 24x7x365 Automatic high availability and backups Automatic high availability Industry-leading SLAs Fully redundant infrastructure, from the network all the way up the stack Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 7

10 5. Common Use Cases The Managed Cassandra platform is well suited to help companies solve a range of use cases: MOBILE, WEB AND IOT APPLICATIONS Cassandra s distributed architecture make it a great fit for apps such as mobile and IoT apps that require near-constant uptime, or that intake data from different geographical locations across multiple channels. Managed Cassandra offers a production-ready platform to meet these challenges while reducing the risks of relying on a less mature technology. And with Rackspace engineers managing Cassandra, developers are free to focus on building their apps, improving time to market to keep up with the fast-moving tech landscape. PERSONALIZED RECOMMENDATION ENGINE Delivering a consistent, quality customer experience increases customer acquisition and retention. However, it also requires the consumption and analysis of massive volumes of dynamic user activity data in real time, to help you give your customers exactly what they want, every time. The Managed Cassandra platform is architected and tuned specifically for Cassandra, with optimizations like PCI-e flash storage. Consistent high performance is part of the design, helping you make personalized recommendations in real-time and deliver a consistent customer experience. MESSAGING , chat, commenting and notification use cases typically have stringent availability and scalability requirements. To meet these needs, Managed Cassandra is optimized for continuous availability and disaster recovery, with strong uptime SLAs including a 100% Network Uptime Guarantee. In addition, Rackspace handles instance provisioning and resizing to simplify scaling, and experts are on hand to help customers plan for their scalability needs. Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 8

11 FRAUD DETECTION Cassandra s distributed architecture and linear scalability make it a good choice for storing, managing and analyzing large data sets in real-time. Accordingly, storing data patterns in Cassandra allows you to detect fraudulent activity quickly, accurately, and without the complexity and cost that most relational environments would require. With Managed Cassandra, real-time monitoring across all channels and data centers helps you identify suspicious activities before they cause significant compliance issues or losses in terms of revenue or credibility. In addition, the DataStax Enterprise database platform includes built-in enterprise-class security to safeguard customer data. PRODUCT CATALOGS AND PLAYLISTS Storing collections of user-selected items involves significant performance, scalability and availability challenges. It also often requires the ability to efficiently manage a variety of both structured and unstructured data types. Managed Cassandra s flexible data model simplifies the creation of catalogs and playlists, with high performance and seamless scale no matter the data volume. Multi-data center and cloud replication ensures that end users always have access to their collection or catalog. 6. Conclusion For customers seeking a fully managed, production-ready Cassandra solution, Managed Cassandra is the ideal choice. The DataStax Enterprise database platform offers a highly available, highly scalable NoSQL solution to power mobile, web and other modern use cases, while simultaneously enabling you to focus your technical resources on activities that truly differentiate your business. To learn more about Managed Cassandra, contact a specialist at or visit Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 9

12 About Rackspace Rackspace (NYSE: RAX)is the #1 managed cloud company. Its technical expertise and Fanatical Support allow companies to tap the power of the cloud without the pain of hiring experts in dozens of complex technologies. Rackspace is also the leader in hybrid cloud, giving each customer the best fit for its unique needs whether on single- or multi-tenant servers, or a combination of those platforms. Rackspace is the founder of OpenStack, the open-source operating system for the cloud. Based in San Antonio, Rackspace serves more than 200,000 business customers from data centers on four continents. GLOBAL OFFICES Headquarters Rackspace, Inc. 1 Fanatical Place Windcrest, Texas Intl: UK Office Rackspace Ltd. 5 Millington Road Hyde Park Hayes Middlesex, UB3 4AZ Phone: Intl: +44 (0) Benelux Office Rackspace Benelux B.V. Teleportboulevard EJ Amsterdam Phone: Intl: +31 (0) Hong Kong Office 9/F, Cambridge House, Taikoo Place 979 King s Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong Sales: Support Australia Office Rackspace Hosting Australia PTY LTD Level 1 37 Pitt Street Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia 2015 Rackspace US, Inc. All rights reserved. This whitepaper is for informational purposes only and is provided AS IS. The information set forth is intended as a guide and not as a step-by-step process, and does not represent an assessment of any specific compliance with laws or regulations or constitute advice. We strongly recommend that you engage additional expertise in order to further evaluate applicable requirements for your specific environment. RACKSPACE MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT AND RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE CHANGES TO SPECIFICATIONS AND PRODUCT/SERVICES DESCRIPTION AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. RACKSPACE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISCONTINUE OR MAKE CHANGES TO ITS SERVICES OFFERINGS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. USERS MUST TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR APPLICATION OF ANY SERVICES AND/OR PROCESSES MENTIONED HEREIN. EXCEPT AS SET FORTH IN RACKSPACE GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS, CLOUD TERMS OF SERVICE AND/OR OTHER AGREEMENT YOU SIGN WITH RACKSPACE, RACKSPACE ASSUMES NO LIABILITY WHATSOEVER, AND DISCLAIMS ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTY, RELATING TO ITS SERVICES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NONINFRINGEMENT. Rackspace and Fanatical Support are either registered service marks or service marks of Rackspace US, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Azure is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other states. Third-party trademarks and tradenames appearing in this document are the property of their respective owners. Such third-party trademarks have been printed in caps or initial caps and are used for referential purposes only. We do not intend our use or display of other companies tradenames, trademarks, or service marks to imply a relationship with, or endorsement or sponsorship of us by, these other companies. Modified: Fully Managed, High-performance Cassandra Service Page 10

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