Whenever the conversation turns to Big Data and analytics, the topic is naturally assumed to be related to Hadoop. But it turns out that Cassandra, a NoSQL database that requires higher levels of performance than can be typically achieved using Hadoop, is gaining a fair amount of momentum.
To keep that momentum rolling, Acunu is delivering Acunu Analytics 5.0 for Cassandra NoSQL databases, an implementation of its analytics application that has been optimized for Cassandra. According to Acunu CTO Tim Moreton, the company has developed a “SQL like” language that makes it easier for analysts to query a data warehouse based on Cassandra from within Acunu Analytics. The idea is to be able to leverage the performance attributes of Cassandra as a low-cost, Big Data platform using a set of Acunu analytics applications that enables operational intelligence queries to be launched on a minute-by-minute basis.
That capability, says Moreton, is critical when trying to support operational intelligence capabilities that need to keep track of key performance indicators in real time.
Moreton says Cassandra is gaining adherents because even as a NoSQL database it can still pass the atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability (ACID) tests that most database administrators require of any database that needs to be deployed in support of a mission-critical application. Acunu, says Moreton, is designed to provide a self-service environment for managing operational intelligence on top of a Cassandra database that is already installed in many organizations that have been reducing their dependency of expensive SQL databases. Moreton says that the idea is to provide a user experience that makes it easier to visually explore massive amounts of data.
It’s unclear what percentage of the Big Data universe will ultimately run on Cassandra. Chances are, Hadoop will be a much larger part of the ecosystem, but for certain classes of Big Data applications, Cassandra is likely to be a quite popular alternative to commercial database systems. Acunu is providing one of the first analytics applications that is optimized to take advantage of a database technology that already supports a wide variety of custom applications built by internal IT organizations that are slowly getting comfortable with Big Data.