November 19th, 2013

For those of you that couldn’t attend the Cassandra Summit EU, never fear, we have put all of the talks and slides and talks here. It was just one day, but wow, what a lot of great community energy. Everywhere I looked I saw Cassandra professionals talking about their experiences and newcomers learning about how they can be successful. I was really happy we could create a venue in Europe for Cassandra users. Traveling to far off conferences can limit choices. Judging by the speakers and topics, there are really cool things happening in the EU with stories just dying to be told.

I put together a short list for you to check out. If you are strapped for time or just looking for a place to start, make sure and watch these. I chose these to highlight a theme I saw in the summit. We are getting beyond basic explanations of how Cassandra works. The majority of talks now are centered around my favorite topic: applications! How can you use Cassandra for your next killer app?

First is a hot subject around Cassandra. Real time data analysis and reaction in your application. Richard Low adds his experience to the topic with “Mixing Batch and Real-Time: Cassandra with Shark “  He introduces a library built at SwiftKey for running Spark and Shark on Cassandra data. The code has been released as the Cassowary project and is on github. His unique approach can be seen here with his slides here.

Continuing the theme of real-time data analysis, Cassandra committer Gary Dusbabek digs into “Blueflood: Simple Metrics Processing”. Used at Rackspace to process over 120 million metrics per hour, this is a project to check out. (Project website at Since he does work directly on Cassandra, there are some great insider tips. Video is here and slides here.

You know that if you see my talks, I’m all about data modeling. It’s a critical step in building your perfect application. Eric Zoerner from eBuddy takes us through the topic of decomposing structured data with “Denormalizing Your Data: A Java Library to Support Structured Data in Cassandra”. It’s not a common topic at all so I’m really happy about this talk. It just might be useful in your next project. Eric didn’t just want to talk about it, oh no. he brought the code too. Check out his repo here. Before you get started, watch the video and check out the slides.

Finally for those of you out there getting ready to make some big changes, Jean Armel Luce lends a hand with “The Cassandra Experience at Orange.” They decided to migrate from MySQL to Cassandra, which I’m sure many of you are doing or thinking about. Orange was able to migrate from one system to the other without any service interruption to their huge user base. How did they do it? Equal parts of planning and great new open source projects! Check out the talk and definitely check out their project to help enable migrations. Talk is here with slides here.

I have to do it, but here’s my shameless plug. If I had a single mission in the Cassandra community, it would be educating on application topics such as data modeling. For Cassandra EU I landed with a fourth talk in my data modeling series: “Apache Cassandra 2.0: Data Model on Fire” Now as the title might suggest, I take a trip down the performance side of things, but I also go deep on the new Lightweight Transactions available in 2.0. With the risk of revealing all my secrets, I disclose my all time favorite nodetool command for measuring performance. What to know what it is? Watch my talk here  (slides here)

If you want to know more about what’s happening inside the Cassandra community, take some time to watch these talks. So much good stuff going on, it’s hard to not get excited.  If you can’t get enough, let me remind you that meetup groups are popping up everywhere. Real users talking about real applications and use cases. My favorite part is the discussions before and after the talks. Hopefully I’ll see you at a meetup soon and we’ll be talking about your ideas.