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Cassandra database now ready for mere mortals

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The NoSQL database Cassandra has hit 1.0-level maturity with a heavy play for enterprise customers.

Jonathan Ellis, vice president of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) Cassandra project, is reported to have announced that the NoSQL database is now ready for "mere mortals".

"You don't have to know as much as you did about the nuts and bolts" to operate the database, Ellis said here.

Developed by Facebook, Cassandra has mostly been picked up by web hyper-scale giants – including Digg, Rackspace and Twitter – to process huge amounts of data in real-time.

The problem for Cassandra, like most NoSQL contenders, is that it is too difficult for the average IT shop to customise, manage or tune.

Apache wrapped the news by listing a string of other Cassandra users to demonstrate the database is not just used by the flagships of social networking and cloud.

Changes in this version of the database include the introduction of data compression on a per-ColumnFamily basis to help maximise storage space; a storage engine that self-tunes memtable sizes to strike a balance between faster writes, reduced compaction overhead, and memory use; and it uses explicit reference counting to reclaim obsolete data files post-compaction. Also: sstables of a fixed size have been added to ensure the sstables don't overlap – this is based on LevelDB from Google's Chromium team. ®

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