Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Mehdi Daoudi, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Microservices Expo, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Feed Post

Why We Switched to Cassandra By @DanJones914 | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Cassandra was the best option to help deliver on these extreme high availability and reliability requirements

Why We Switched to Cassandra

By Dan Jones

Due to the nature of our business, high availability is extremely important to VictorOps and something we take very seriously. We know our customers rely on our service to be always up so that we can process and deliver their alerts and notifications. One of the key components that is critical to the functioning and availability of any SaaS service is the datastore.

At VictorOps we have historically used MySQL in high availability Percona Xtradb Clusters for operational and analytical uses. While MySQL is a mature and reliable relational database and has performed well, we had planned from early on to move to a more horizontally scalable datastore in order to meet our scalability and high availability requirements (including multi-datacenter failover capabilities).

Last fall we began to evaluate datastore alternatives that could help improve scalability, both relational and NoSQL, before deciding to use Cassandra. After evaluating these options we decided that Cassandra was the best option to help deliver on these extreme high availability and reliability requirements.

apache-cassandra

Some of Cassandra’s strengths that influenced this decision include:

- High Availability – Cassandra is a distributed database where all nodes are equivalent (i.e. there is no master node so clients can connect to any available node). Data is replicated at a configurable number of nodes, so that failure of some number of nodes (depending on the replication factor) will not result in loss of data. From the CAP theorem perspective (Consistency, Availability, Partition tolerance), Cassandra’s design provides tunable consistency at the read/write request level, which allows you to increase availability at the expense of consistency where it makes sense.

- Scalability – Cassandra has been shown to be linearly scalable. Since each node adds processing power as well as data capacity, it is possible to scale incrementally to very large data volumes and high throughputs by simply adding new nodes to the cluster.

- “Self-healing” – Cassandra’s eventually consistent data model and node repair features ensure that the consistency of the cluster will be automatically maintained over time. This also makes it very easy to recover failed nodes, increase or decrease the size of the cluster as needed, and even do in place version upgrades (in most cases).

- Multi-datacenter replication – Cassandra’s node replication and eventual consistency features are core to the functioning of this distributed system. These features were designed from the outset and have been improved and battle tested throughout its lifetime and are now considered highly reliable. These features were therefore easily extended to clusters that contain nodes in different geographical locations, and due to the eventual consistency model this includes support for true Active-Active clusters. In fact, Cassandra has the reputation of having the most robust, reliable multi-datacenter replication of any datastore in the industry. This is an important part of our multi-datacenter failover capability at VictorOps and was one of the major factors in the decision to go with Cassandra.

- Large community – Cassandra is an Apache project with a very large, active community including influential companies like Netflix. In addition DataStax continues to drive development and continual improvements of the Cassandra core as well as operational components (they also provide support subscriptions).

5012504924_88ed505a04_z

While Cassandra has many advantages including those described above, it is very different than most other datastores. Cassandra is not a relational database and while the interface to retrieve data (CQL) is very similar to SQL, the underlying data storage and access model is very different. As a result, the performance and operational characteristics of Cassandra are very dependent on the application data model. Therefore, it is important to understand how data is accessed and to design the data model so that it will perform well on the common queries that the application uses.

One data model on which Cassandra performs particularly well is log structured (or time series) data. In this type of model, the data represents a series of measurements or events that happen over time, rather than a set of updates to existing data items. Cassandra allows storing these “immutable” events contiguously on disk ordered by a clustering key (which is often insertion time). It is therefore very efficient to return the set of items based on this clustering key, using serial rather than random disk I/O.

There are many parts of VictorOp’s data model that naturally map to this log structured approach. For example, an incident’s lifecycle is comprised of a set of events that cause the state of the incident to change (e.g. a Critical alert, Creation of an Incident, a Paging escalation, an Acknowledgement, a Recovery, etc). VictorOps surfaces this in the notion of the main Timeline as well as an Incident Timeline.

Obviously the choice of a datastore is an important decision that has a major affect on the scalability, reliability, availability, maintainability and extensibility of a SaaS service. While Cassandra requires more awareness of the underlying data access patterns and the operational characteristics when designing the system, we feel that the benefits it provides in terms of availability, linear scalability and seamless, reliable multi-datacenter replication are a great fit for our business requirements, and will scale to meet our needs in the future.

The post Why we switched to Cassandra appeared first on VictorOps.

More Stories By VictorOps Blog

VictorOps is making on-call suck less with the only collaborative alert management platform on the market.

With easy on-call scheduling management, a real-time incident timeline that gives you contextual relevance around your alerts and powerful reporting features that make post-mortems more effective, VictorOps helps your IT/DevOps team solve problems faster.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost and increase in speed. Sometimes in order to reduce complexity teams compromise features or change requirements
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural aspects are that enterprise companies are considering to get to the cloud and eventually transform the way they build software and services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of engineers can navigate the Carrier Ecosystem for your IT team acting as an extension of your business, producing a hassle-free experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security risks with containers and how to manage these risks at scale including Images, Builds, Registry, Deployment, Hosts, Network, Storage, APIs, Monitoring/Logging, and Federation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capability.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, visit http://www.krcnet.co.jp/eng_site/e_index.htm.
Today traditional IT approaches leverage well-architected compute/networking domains to control what applications can access what data, and how. DevOps includes rapid application development/deployment leveraging concepts like containerization, third-party sourced applications and databases. Such applications need access to production data for its test and iteration cycles. Data Security? That sounds like a roadblock to DevOps vs. protecting the crown jewels to those in IT.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.interface-amita.com/aboutus/interface_profile.asp.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the connection between building better software and business agility has been a tenuous one at best. But now that Agile is maturing and Digital Transformation is driving change across enterprises large and small, companies are realizing that their best bet for achieving business agility is to take the best of Agile and apply it across the entire organization.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how the public cloud best suits your organization, and what the future holds for operations and infrastructure engineers in a post-container world. Is a serverless world inevitable?
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp empowers global organizations to unleash the full potential of their data to expand customer touchpoints, foster greater innovation and optimize their operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more information, visit http://www.nihon-micron.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for dementia, etc. For more information, visit http://www.e-suzuki.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http://www.ryobi-sol.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data and analytics insights onto a single, holistic, display, focusing attention on what matters, when it matters.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.