Alexander Dejanovski Ingénieur Expert at Chronopost International
"I’ve been working at Chronopost International for 15 years now as senior software engineer. We built our first Cassandra production cluster this year, and I developed the first projects running on top of it."
Alexander Dejanovski Ingénieur Expert at Chronopost International

Chronopost is a specialist in the express delivery of envelopes and parcels of up to 30 kg, for both businesses and individuals, both nationally and internationally.  As a branch of GeoPost, a parcel and express delivery holding company within the La Poste Group, Chronopost employs 3,500 workers and, in 2013, had delivered 102,2 million parcels.  Chronopost in France relies on a network of 80 operational sites, including 6 hubs. Chronopost serves more than 230 countries in Europe and in the world.  In 2012, Chronopost joined the La Poste Group compensation programme « Total Zero » to ensure the carbon neutrality of the parcels delivered, without any extra cost to its customers.


Meeting with the community

Cassandra Summit 2014, which will take place in London December 3-4, will be my first conference on this technology and I’m very excited to meet with the community out there. We’ve had the pleasure to meet with Jonathan Ellis last Spring when he came for the Devoxx France conference, and I had a great time talking with him on Cassandra’s future. Can’t wait to meet all the other who brought Cassandra from the (not so) old times of 0.6 to the marvelous database it is today.

I had no idea that it was so heavily used at Apple, since I saw some photos of their presentation at the last San Francisco Cassandra Summit, popping up in my twitter timeline. 75,000 nodes is quite an impressive number, and I won’t miss the Apple session in London.

CQL3 modeling

I hope we’ll get to see new smart modeling techniques to get tricky jobs done efficiently with Cassandra. I know companies can’t always share all of their secret recipes but still, I remember some very interesting presentations from Instagram (video) or Comcast (video) only to name a few, although Patrick McFadin remains my all time master on the topic.

Advanced Training

Why do all trainings take place at the same time?? I wish I could follow 3 training courses, of the 4 that are planned, and I am very frustrated that I have to choose only one! Spark is definitely a huge topic and now that Chronopost has mastered Cassandra as a transactional database replacement; we’re hardly working on building the analytical layer on top of it. Our tests with Hadoop MR and Hive show that the load on the nodes is very high and the jobs take, like, forever… Spark is really the bright future of clustered analytics right now and it is really great to see that Datastax and Databricks are working together to bring us shiny new ways to work with Spark on Cassandra data.

My very first session as a speaker

Big pressure but I can’t wait to share my opinion on Cassandra. I’ve already presented at Cassandra Tech Day in Paris a few days ago with 100+ participants and can’t wait to do it again in London.

My talk won’t be about presenting shiny graphs showing great latency improvements or JVM optimizations (others will do that better than me), but will focus on the organizational and psychological aspects that lower the rate of adoption of Cassandra in big – non tech – companies. I’ll try to show how to fix this by debunking the bigger myths that surround Cassandra and the NoSQL/Big Data paradigms.

Those companies mostly built their whole IT departement around RDBMS and cannot just dive in any new shiny concept that rises up in the data storage industry. I’ve experienced it here at Chronopost and without my CIO boldly supporting and pushing the project, we wouldn’t have managed to make Cassandra such a strong focus in our IT strategy.

Thus my session has been jokingly named : How to bring Cassandra to your “serious” IT department.

See you in London !

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