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Company: Instana
Industry: Software
Functional Use Case: Time Series, Data Store

This use case is based on an article originally published here.

Instana, an IBM company based in Chicago, provides application performance management software for modern applications with CI/CD pipeline visibility, enabling closed-loop DevOps automation. It collects billions of metrics per day in real-time and uses Apache Cassandra to store and process data at scale. Instana’s high-performance architecture captures 100% of transactions in one-second intervals across a large distributed application in a hybrid cloud.

The Instana monitoring tool gathers host-level data, such as CPU and memory usage, and maps processes running on the host. The tool monitors up to the application layer, tracing one request as it goes through the system. Cassandra’s time-series data model was a perfect match for Instana’s need to store and query data from thousands of sensors in real-time.
Instana’s architecture includes five production regions, each with 15 nodes, running on both AWS and GCP, which can collect millions of metrics per second. The team chose Cassandra because it provides a distributed model for fixed queries, complex data modeling maintainable by a small team, and Cassandra TTL as a built-in data model.

Using Cassandra, Instana is able to handle real-time queries of millions of metrics and uses the time window compaction strategy to group data on disk that would be viewed in a grouping by time window. Cassandra’s ability to handle large volumes of data and provide high availability and fault tolerance make it an ideal choice for Instana’s use case.
Overall, Instana uses Apache Cassandra’s scalability and distributed capabilities to manage and synchronize massive amounts of metrics in real-time across multiple regions, providing top-grade performance in the competitive observability space.

Instana uses Apache Cassandra to store and process data at scale for their application performance management software. With its high-performance and high-scale architecture, Instana is able to capture 100% of transactions in one-second intervals across a large distributed application in a hybrid cloud. The company collects billions of metrics per day in real-time and uses Apache Cassandra to store and process the data, enabling real-time queries of millions of metrics.

Instana’s choice of Apache Cassandra enables complex data modeling and ease of implementation for retention policies, making it a natural fit for their use case. The time-series data model in Cassandra also provides roll-up data, which enables users to see their data in one-second, one-hour, one-day, and one-week views. Cassandra has enabled Instana to monitor 100 different technologies, presenting the data so it can be queried fluidly, and to handle the large volume of data generated by sensors in a distributed application.

Stack Includes: AWS, GCP, Apache Cassandra

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