November 12th, 2013


View the entire YouTube video playlist for Cassandra Summit EU 2013 here.



Title: Keynote: Apache Cassandra 2.0 & 2.1 (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Jonathan Ellis (@Spyced) — Apache Cassandra Chair & Co-Founder/CTO at DataStax


Architect Sessions

Title: Real-Time BI with Cassandra (Video)

Speaker: Tim Moreton (@TimMoreton) — Founder & CTO at Acunu

Abstract: Cassandra is a superb platform for building scalable real-time analytics applications. And the highest value applications will be those that put simple visualizations of critical KPIs in the hands of business users.  But there’s a tension between your development team crafting complex, denormalized data models in CQL and your business users constantly evolving their understanding of the data and their analytic needs.  Acunu Analytics helps to resolve that gap by using Cassandra to continuously maintain OLAP cubes that support instant, SQL-like queries and offering those up through a BI dashboarding tool. In this talk, I’m going to explore these concepts, and dig into how we’ve automated the process of going from a stream of JSON events to a live dashboard of the indicators business users need.


Title: Apache Cassandra 2.0: Data Model on Fire (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Patrick McFadin (@PatrickMcFadin) — Chief Evangelist at DataStax

Abstract: Functional data models are great, but how can you squeeze out more  performance and make them awesome! Let’s talk through some example Cassandra 2.0 models, go through the tuning steps and understand the tradeoffs. Many time’s just a simple understanding of the underlying Cassandra 2.0 internals can make all the difference. I’ve helped some of the biggest companies in the world do this  and I can help you. Do you feel the need for Cassandra 2.0 speed?


Title: Leveraging the Power of Cassandra: Operational Reporting and Interactive Analysis (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Ernesto Ongaro — Senior Sales Engineer at Jaspersoft


Title: Performance: It’s All About the App (Video)

Speaker: Michael Masterson — Director, Strategic Business Development at Compuware APM

Abstract: Even with the fastest Cassandra cluster beneath the hood, it’s the app that ultimately governs performance. Learn from customer examples on how to address the root cause of slow performance.


Title: One Million Books: Adventures in Discoverability with Cassandra and Solr (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Patricia Gorla (@PatriciaGorla)— Systems Engineer at Opensource Connections

Abstract: For any venture, storing your data is just the first step in making sense of it. How do you make your system discoverable? How do you tune your relevancy to accommodate real-time updates? In this session, we explore pairing Cassandra with Solr using Datastax Enterprise Search, and look at different search paradigms to help your users find patterns in your data.


Title: Blending Cassandra Data Into The Mix (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Matt Casters (@MattCasters) — Chief Architect, PDI/Kettle Project Founder at Pentaho

Abstract: Traditionally, data is delivered to business analytics tools through a relational database. However, there are cases where that can be inconvenient, for example when the volume of data is just too high or when you can’t wait until the database tables are updated.

This presentation by Pentaho Kettle founder Matt Casters will demonstrate a solution of data ‘Blending’, which allows a data integration user to create a transformation capable of delivering data directly to Pentaho – and other – business analytics tools. Matt will demonstrate taking data from Cassandra, and blending it with other data from both SQL and NoSQL sources, and then visualizing that data. Matt will explain how it becomes possible to create a virtual “database” with “tables” where the data actually comes from a transformation step.


Title: Capitalizing on Data in Telecommunications: The Cassandra Way (Video & Slides)

Speakers: Rokesh Jankie (@rjankie) — CTO at QAFE Inc; Hallo Khaznadar — CAO at QAFE Inc.

Abstract: Telecommunications mediation is the process of handling Call Data Records (CDR’s) coming through specialized hardware switches that are connected to the infrastructure of the telecommunications company. The standard industry requirements of these processes are the archiving of original raw data for auditing purposes, decoding and persisting of the extracted Call Data Records for applying rating, billing, reporting and feeding processed data to other sub systems specific to each telecoms platform. The number of CDR’s and their size has exploded since mobility got an enormous boost in recent years. A new and non-traditional approach is needed to achieve these requirements. By combining QAFE-based architecture platform with the hardware power of the cutting edge Oracle Exalogic and the scaleable, flexible and highly performing DataStax enterprise, we achieved astonishing results. The solution not only allowed us to achieve industry standard requirements but also opened up the door for new requirements, realizing crucial functionality for the industry. Specifically the ability to perform analytics, reporting and KPI’s in a time period spanning several years. In the presentation, there will be focus on the combination of a private cloud solution (public clouds are not an option here due to legislation) and DataStax enterprise. A working benchmark can show performance numbers of the real time processing and the storage of big amounts of CDR’s from several sources.


Title: Using Cassandra in a Telco Storage System (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Pavel Pontryagin (@PavelPontryagin) — Senior Engineer at Peter Service

Abstract: Data volume grows and in telecommunication area it is painful to support and scale RDBMS systems. This presentation shows how we switched from SQL to NoSQL. This will be an overview of aspects: How we model schema for call data using NoSQL vs SQL, what hardware architecture we use, NoSQL vs SQL insert-select performance, and how we store graph data using Cassandra.


Title: Mixing Batch and Real-Time: Cassandra with Shark (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Richard Low (@RichardALow) — Analytics Tech Lead at SwiftKey

Abstract: Everything Cassandra does is designed for a real-time workload of high volume inserts and frequent small queries. Cassandra has Hadoop and Hive integration, but performing long running ad-hoc queries with these tools is difficult without impacting real-time performance or requires duplicate clusters. This talk will explain how I’m integrating Cassandra with Shark, a drop-in Hive replacement developed by Berkeley’s AmpLab. It’s designed to give fine grained control over all resource usage so you can safely run arbitrary ad-hoc queries on your existing cluster with controlled and predictable impact.


Developer Sessions

Title: Blueflood: Simple Metrics Processing (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Gary Dusbabek (@GDusbabek) — Apache Cassandra Committer & Systems Architect at Rackspace Hosting

Abstract: Rackspace needed a metrics system that could ingest 30 million signals generated from the Cloud Monitoring system. It had to offer custom data retention levels and still be able to offer graphs to customers in real-time. Gary and his team created a distributed system of shared-nothing nodes on top of Cassandra that split the responsibilities of: ingesting data, processing rollups, servicing data points for reads. Depending on the need, nodes can be easily reconfigured to support all or some of those functions. In this session you you will learn about techniques for scheduling rollups and still maintaining numerical accuracy, how to handled non-numerical data points, how to utilize open-source technology (Apache Cassandra, Scribe, Thrift, and Node.js) to deliver results relatively quickly and much more.


Title: The State of CQL (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Sylvain Lebresne (@pcmanus) — Software Engineer at DataStax

Abstract: Since its inception, the Cassandra Query Language (CQL) has grown and matured, resulting in the 3rd version of the language (CQL3) being finalized in Cassandra 1.2 and further improved in Cassandra 2.0. Compared to the legacy Thrift API, CQL3 aims at providing an API that is higher level, more user friendly, but still fully assumes the distributed nature of Cassandra and it’s storage engine. This talk will present CQL3, describing the reasoning and goals behind the language as well as the language itself. We will also touch on CQL’s relationship with Thrift and will present the CQL binary protocol that has been introduced in Cassandra 1.2. We will wrap up by discussing the future of CQL.


Title: No Whistling Required: Cabs, Cassandra, and Hailo (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Dave Gardner (@DaveGardnerIsMe) — Architect at Hailo

Abstract: Hailo has leveraged Cassandra to build one of the most successful startups in European history. This presentations looks at how Hailo grew from a simple MySQL-backed infrastructure to a resilient Cassandra-backed system running in three data centres globally. Topics covered include: the process of migration, experience running multi-DC on AWS, common data modeling patterns and security implications for achieving PCI compliance.


Title: Top-K Queries in Realtime with Cassandra and Intravert (Video & Slides)

Speakers: Jonathan Halliday — Core Developer at JBoss; Rui Vieira — Postgrad Student at Newcastle University

Abstract: Performing ranking queries to find the most relevant documents, most popular urls, etc on huge datasets is trivial —if you’re willing to wait a while for the answers. For those with less time to waste, this session describes techniques for performing such queries efficiently. We’ll describe the ranking queries problem, outline the Cassandra CQL3 data structures and code that can be used to solve it and describe the trade-offs available. We describe intravert, an innovative server-side programming solution for Cassandra, and show how it can be used to reduce network usage and improve performance by filtering data closer to source.


Title: Cassandra Made Simple with CQL Drivers and DevCenter (Video & Slides)

Speakers: Michaël Figuiere (@mfiguiere) — Software Engineer at DataStax; Alex Popescu (@Al3xandru) — Senior Product Manager at DataStax

Abstract: Is Cassandra too complex for newcomers? Besides the many improvements that have made their way into C* to dramatically simplify it and the finalized Cassandra Query Language, the SQL-like query language that should look familiar, new drivers have been created with a modern and efficient API. Last, but not least, DataStax is introducing *today* DevCenter 1.0, an IDE whose goal is to simplify developer’s workflow even further and to improve their productivity. This presentation will show you how putting to work the new drivers and DevCenter can make your daily life with Cassandra nicer!


Title: Building a CQL Driver (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Theo Hultberg (@iconara) — Chief Architect at Burt

Abstract: I’m not a database driver expert, I’m just a Ruby developer who really likes Cassandra, but I’ve written a CQL driver. It wasn’t hard, and it feels really good to now have an understanding of how my applications talk to Cassandra. To know what happens when I connect, prepare a statement, or how my data is encoded on its way to the database. When my CQL collections got big and I got weird results back, I could use my knowledge to quickly debug the issue. I’d like to give you an overview of the new native protocol from the driver perspective, maybe it can help you understand Cassandra the way it has helped me.


Title: Stump the Experts with Al Tobey & Patrick McFadin (Video)

Speakers: Patrick McFadin (@PatrickMcFadin) — Chief Evangelist at DataStax; Al Tobey — Open Source Mechanic at DataStax

Abstract: It’s time to play “Stump the Experts”, with Al Tobey, Open Source Mechanic at DataStax, and Patrick McFadin, Chief Evanglist at DataStax. Bring your urgent Cassandra questions to this session and have our expert panel answer them for you.


Title: Playlists at Spotify: Using Cassandra to Store Version Controlled Objects (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Jimmy Mardell — Senior Software Engineer at Spotify

Abstract: All systems at Spotify have to deal with huge amounts of data. Playlists in particular is a unique challenge. We need to store more than one billion playlists, and make them accessible for not only the playlist owner but also subscribers. Furthermore, we need to handle concurrent changes to collaborative playlists and offline scenarios. The devised solution treats every playlist as a versioned object. We use Cassandra to store these objects in an efficient way, allowing fast read- and write queries. The road there was not pain free however. I will talk about the data model we ended up using, and lessons learned along the way.


Title: From Simple CQL to Time-Series Event Tracking and Aggregation Using Cassandra and Hadoop (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Mick Semb Wever (@mck_sw) — Programmer at

Abstract:’s is a classifieds website and Norway’s busiest website. This session will go through various product development where c* has shown to be the best choice, focusing on our primary c* use-case: our in-house tracking solution that’s collects raw time-series data in c* and aggregates minute-by-minute it using hadoop into various new datasets from advert-centric statistics to user-centric behavioural analysis. I’ll cover the final technical design chosen after a number of development iterations touching on technologies: scribe, thrift, kafka, hadoop, pig, mahout; the hurdles faced along the way, and the throughput and performance of today’s systems.


Title: Hardware Agnostic: Cassandra 1.2 on Raspberry Pi (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Andy Cobley (@AndyCobley) — Lecturer at University of Dundee

Abstract: The raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized $25 ARM based linux box designed to teach children the basics of programming. The machine comes with a 700MHz ARM and 512Mb of memory and boots off a SD card, not much power for running the likes of a Cassandra cluster. This presentation will discuss the problems of getting Cassandra up and running on the Pi and will answer the all important question: Why on Earth would you want to do this!?


Title: Denormalizing Your Data: A Java Library to Support Structured Data in Cassandra (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Eric Zoerner (@Eric_Zoerner) — Senior Software Developer at eBuddy

Abstract: In this session you’ll learn about the design and implementation of a new open source general-purpose Java library that supports storing structured data in Cassandra. Instead of mapping the data to multiple tables like an ORM would or embedding data using serialization, this approach decomposes structured data of arbitrary complexity into separate columns of simple values, allowing the data to be retrieved or updated in parts using hierarchical paths. Implementations are included for Cassandra using both the Thrift and CQL3 APIs. In addition, Eric’s experiences are shared regarding the challenges of using CQL3 vs. Thrift for schema-less data.


DataOps Sessions

Title: Delivering Christmas Gifts in France Since 2012 (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Matthieu Nantern (@mNantern) — Software Engineer at Xebia

Abstract: Every year more and more people buy their Christmas gifts online and that gifts are delivered by the postal service of France “La Poste”. At the end of the infrastructure a (not so) little MySQL was struggling for survival against that overwhelming load. Then, in 2011, MySQL hit its limit… Come hear the true story of La Poste switching its parcel management, PHP-based application, from MySQL to Cassandra in 3 weeks. You’ll be taught about the details of the project constraints, how to use Cassandra from PHP, the migration plan, how to manage resilience testing, deploy your Cassandra with Puppet, and all the wonderful knowledge we accumulate through this project.


Title: The Cassandra Experience at Orange (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Jean Armel Luce — Senior Software Engineer/Cassandra Admin at Orange

Abstract: At Orange, Jean Armel has helped develop an open source tool for the migration of data to Cassandra; Jean and his team were in need of the NoSQL solution Apache Cassandra in order to sustain the growth of requests and volume of data required by their application PnS. In this session, Jean Armel will start out with an overview of the Orange application PnS and dive into why they chose Apache Cassandra how they did their data migration without any interruption of service. Jean Armel will also show how his application behaves after the migration


Title: Being Closer to Cassandra (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Oleg Anastasyev (@M0nsterMind) — Lead Platform Developer at

Abstract: Odnoklassniki uses cassandra for its business data, which doesn’t fit into RAM. This data is typically fast growing, frequently accessed by our users and must be always available, because it constitute our primary business as a social network. The way we use cassandra is somewhat unusual – we don’t use thrift or netty based native protocol to communicate with cassandra nodes remotely. Instead, we co-locate cassandra nodes in the same JVM with business service logic, exposing not generic data manipulation, but business level interface remotely. This way, we avoid extra network roundtrips within a single business transaction and use internal calls to Cassandra classes to get information faster. Also, this helps us to create many small hacks on Cassandra’s internals, making huge gains on efficiency and ease of distributed server development.


Title: Cassandra Adoption at Sky and Live Data Centre Migration (Video)

Speaker: Paul Makkar — DevOps at Sky

Abstract: How to bring up a new data center and take down the old one with zero downtime, using Apache Cassandra.


Title: Cassandra on Flash: Performance & Efficiency Lessons Learned (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Matt Kennedy (@MattMoreFaster) — Solutions Architect of Big Data at

Abstract: Flash Memory technology, deployed as server-side PCIe or solid state disks (SSDs), is emerging as a critical tool for performance and efficiency in data centers of all scales. This presentation will discuss how the use of Flash impacts Cassandra deployments in terms of configuration, DRAM requirements and performance expectations. Ideas on leveraging C*’s cutting-edge data-center awareness to blend flash and disk storage nodes for cost and workload efficiency will also be shared. Flash media itself will be examined from a physical perspective to understand endurance issues. Data on write amplification under bulk-load and operational workload conditions will be presented to explain the impact to Flash of C*’s Log Structured Merge Tree architecture and the associated compactions. Finally, we will examine strategies to make Cassandra more Flash-aware using both conventional techniques as well as emerging Non-volatile memory (NVM) programming capabilities. Lessons learned from real-world customer deployments will be shared to complete this presentation.


Title: Cassandra Internals (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Aaron Morton (@AaronMorton) — Co-Founder & Principal Consultant at The Last Pickle

Abstract: From the microsecond your request hits an Apache Cassandra node there are many code paths, threads and machines involved in storing or fetching your data. This talk will step through the common operations and highlight the code responsible. Apache Cassandra solves many interesting problems to provide a scalable, distributed, fault tolerant database. Cluster wide operations track node membership, direct requests and implement consistency guarantees. At the node level, the Log Structured storage engine provides high performance reads and writes. All of this is implemented in a Java code base that has greatly matured over the past few years. This talk will step through read and write requests, automatic processes and manual maintenance tasks. I’ll discuss the general approach to solving the problem and drill down to the code responsible for implementation. Existing Cassandra users, those wanting to contribute to the project and people interested in Dynamo based systems will all benefit from this tour of the code base.


Title: Practice Makes Perfect: Extreme Cassandra Optimization (Video & Slides)

Speaker: Al Tobey (@AlTobey) — Open Source Mechanic at DataStax

Abstract: Ooyala has been using Apache Cassandra since version 0.4. Our data ingest volume has exploded since 0.4 and Cassandra has scaled along with us. Al will cover many topics from an operational perspective on how to manage, tune, and scale Cassandra in a production environment.


Lightning Talks (Video)

Title: Stratio Search: In-Memory Search with Cassandra Persistence (Slides)

Speaker: Álvaro Agea Herradón — Big Data Architect at Stratio


Title: Analytics on top of Cassandra and Hadoop (Slides)

Speaker: Dmitry Mezhensky


Title: Effective Cassandra Development with Achilles (Slides)

Speaker: DoyHai DOAN — Freelance Developer


Title: Ontorion: Scalable Information Management (Slides)

Speaker: Pawel Zarzycki — CEO at Cognitum