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A Big Stage for Cassandra

The tools to handle big data are a hot topic these days and part of a growing market. In processing 100 million social actions every day, we needed to tap into some of those tools to support our big data at SimpleReach. To give content creators the market-leading view into what’s working on social channels, we decided to leverage several novel techniques for storage, processing, analysis, and display. Amongst the many tools we utilize, Cassandra is the one that does the heavy lifting for our massive volumes of data. We’ve learned many hard-earned lessons along the way and were excited to share some of them at the third annual Cassandra Summit on August 8, 2012, with both myself and Russ Bradberry, our Principal Architect, presenting.

It was great to see our enthusiasm for Cassandra matched by so many others. The attendance was outstanding, with over 800 people talking about the latest trends and use-cases from the experts. This year’s attendance more than matches the previous 2 years combined. The speakers brought a depth of big data know-how, with showings from Netflix, Disney, Ebay, Ooyala, Sourceninja, and more.  We were excited to see how many of them (like SimpleReach) have contributed work back to the community through open source.  There were also technical deep dives into the internals of Cassandra given by the developers. And Datastax, the excellent host of the Cassandra Summit, even provided a lounge with popcorn, cookies and beer where you could ask the experts questions.

Though we learned a lot from the content, and enjoyed the oddly cool Japanese drum show to kick off the conference, the highlight for us was getting to share our experiences at SimpleReach with the Cassandra community. At SimpleReach we love Cassandra for it’s ability to handle high-volume, high-velocity data ingestion and do so while scaling linearly.  And even though we know that it’s not the right tool for the job all the time, it’s done very well for us where and when we’ve needed it.  Here is the talk I gave about Cassandra and the SimpleReach use-case:

The way we often talk to Cassandra is through one of our many Node.js applications. Helenus, the Node.js driver for Cassandra created by Russell Bradberry was also featured in a lighting talk.  Russ talked about the performance boost with running queries through Helenus and Node.js:

We were also fortunate enough to be able to share the story of SimpleReach’s product and not just the technology on The Cube:

The 2012 Cassandra Summit was a great opportunity for SimpleReach to show the world that our novel approach isn’t just in the way we view social media and its interactions, but also the technology that supports it. We’re excited about continuing to push the limits of big data tools, alongside this emerging community, for years to come.

About elubow

Eric Lubow, CTO of SimpleReach, began his career building secure systems at Guardian Digital before joining Conductor.com, where he developed and ran their ad systems. After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in Information Systems, Eric did multiple tours with the U.S. Army including serving in Iraq as a Lieutenant and Albania as a Captain. He is a board advisor for the IronMatt.org charity for pediatric brain tumors, a mixed martial artist, motorcyclist, and seasoned skydiver.

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4 comments
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  1. […] For more information, check out the blog post I wrote (which talks a little less about the roadmap) on the SimpleReach blog entitled A Big Stage for Cassandra. […]

  2. […] Read the full article. […]

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