David Tinker CTO at BrandsEye
"From the engineering side 'it just works' is the best thing about Cassandra."
David Tinker CTO at BrandsEye


BrandsEye is an online monitoring and insights tool. We track conversations on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr etc.) and websites and derive business related insights from the data. We help companies improve their bottom line by spending money on the right things, monitoring performance of campaigns, understanding their communities etc.. I am CTO of BrandsEye.

Seeing scale

We needed a scalable data store with no single point of failure and excellent write performance. With Cassandra we can easily add more nodes to our cluster as we need more space and/or performance. Being able to tune the consistency requirements for every read and write is a great feature.

We also considered Riak, but Cassandra appeared to be a better fit for our given needs.

Cassandra at BrandsEye

We currently store 5-6 million tweets in Cassandra every day as well as millions of processing records from our mention pipeline. BrandsEye Reports We run analytics against this data, using Java and Groovy with a low level CQL code and Apache Spark.  Our cluster consists of 3 nodes each, 8 cores and 32GB RAM. With a total storage space of 21TB.

Working with Cassandra

From the engineering side “it just works” is the best thing about Cassandra. Certainly there is some learning curve in figuring out how best to store data in Cassandra, so you can query efficiently, but there is plenty of help available online. Our end users use a nice Javascript application and are blissfully unaware of what goes on underneath.

Advice on getting started

Cassandra is not a relational database even though CQL makes it look like one! Get to grips with the data modeling side, and understand how things are stored in Cassandra. 

The community is also big enough so there is a lot of information available online and the mailing list is responsive.
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