GoDaddy is the world’s largest platform for small businesses. We’re also the world’s largest domain name registrar and web host provider. We provide a number of services in support of our broader mission to help small businesses succeed.
We’ve had Apache Cassandra in use for a number of years. It was initially deployed in our web session store. We were attracted to it because of its built-in replication features and its scalability. Since then we have deployed a couple other applications on it. One is our transaction logging data store.
Our latest endeavor is actually to deploy Cassandra as a shared enterprise resource. What we’d like to do is support a multi datacenter use case. The idea there is to lower the barrier of adoption and allow more of our internal applications to take advantage of the high availability and the need of replication for our international push.
The reason they approached it for web session stores was at the time we had sticky sessions and we were looking at taking advantage of a CDN which required non sticky sessions on our end. We looked at a number of data stores and obviously you want something that was able to handle high throughput. Of course, like I already mentioned the high-availability, the built in replication, resiliency to failure, all those things played into the decision.
The existing web session was actually 32 nodes across two data centers. Our enterprise one is going to be quite a bit larger, it will expand actually into our international data centers.
The session store was originally deployed on spinning disk. Our new infrastructure is being built with actually a combination, because in this case we’re going to be supporting multiple applications. We’re going to allocate the higher performance hardware when it’s appropriate and use spinning disk where SSD performance is not required.
The community in general has been great. I can speak to the local community in the Phoenix area. I know we’ve a few firms in the Phoenix area that have been using Cassandra in various capacities. In fact, GoDaddy hosted the last meet up two weeks ago in the Phoenix Cassandra Users group and had over 30 people show up. Those 30 people included current users and also people wanting to learn about it.
The community is very responsive on the mailing list and IRC, and there are loads of blogs out there with information.
DataStax also deserves a big shout out for providing awesome Cassandra documentation. That’s coming from a guy who started with Cassandra back in the incubator and that the documentation was a lot more difficult to digest, which might be the understatement of the year.