Amazon pushes the button on Keyspaces: Cassandra lookalike to boost its NoSQL credentials

Serverless NoSQL DB to come up against open source sister

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Amazon has announced the general availability of a serverless NoSQL database in Amazon Keyspaces, with more than a passing resemblance to the open-source Apache Cassandra.

First touted as Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service (AMAC) at AWS re:Invent 2019 last December, "Cassandra–compatible" Keyspaces allows users to build applications on the Cassandra Query Language (CQL) code. They can employ Apache 2.0-licensed Cassandra drivers, and use developer tools they already have on Cassandra.

Soooo, why not just use Cassandra, since it is free after all?

The answer comes from the original launch of AMAC.

Amazon's rationale is that managing large Cassandra clusters can be difficult and take a lot of time. Set-up, configuration, and maintenance of the underlying infrastructure require a strong understanding of the entire application stack, including the Apache Cassandra open source software, Amazon said.

Meanwhile, scaling down from peak workloads is complex.

Bezos' juggernaut claims that Keyspaces takes all that pain away. Provisioning, patching, and maintenance are all taken care of. In addition, Amazon Keyspaces is serverless, and users only pay for the resources they use.

"You can build applications that serve thousands of requests per second with virtually unlimited throughput and storage," Amazon commented.

The firm promised "consistent, single-digit-millisecond performance at any scale" with Keyspaces promising 99.99 per cent availability service level agreement within an AWS Region. Users can also manage access to tables by using AWS Identity and Access Management, connect your resources to your virtual private cloud (VPC), and keep applications running with integrated logging and monitoring.

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Cassandra is one of the most popular NoSQL databases with a loyal user base which may welcome using the tools they have become accustomed to on a database that is easier to provision and manage in AWS. If Amazon lives up to its promise, Keyspaces might be that database.

But the Cassandra faithful will point to other developments that also help the deployment of the open-source database into the cloud. In March, DataStax announced the availability of DSE 6.8 with Kubernetes Operator, the idea being to make Cassandra easier to deploy and manage, with Kubernetes at least.

Casandra has gained popularity as a database that can manage heavy workloads and help users perform real-time analytics, so it has been popular for web data and IoT use cases. But it is not ACID-compliant so it isn't appropriate for applications where consistency is paramount. ®

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