Within the enterprise, open source Apache Cassandra databases have been gaining a fair amount of momentum as an alternative platform for running transaction processing applications. Rather than having to harness multiple relational databases to support those applications, Cassandra is a NoSQL database that scales significantly higher in terms of the amount of data it can support.
DataStax, a provider of a commercial edition of Cassandra, this week announced it has garnered an additional $106 million in funding to expand the use of Cassandra beyond the 500 enterprise IT organizations that have already adopted it.
Matt Pfeil, co-founder and vice president of customer solutions for DataStax, says with over 25 percent of the Fortune 100 now using Cassandra and over 115 vendors participating in a DataStax partner network, Cassandra is on the cusp of mainstream adoption. In addition, Pfeil says DataStax will also be focused on tightening the integration between Cassandra and Apache Spark, which is being widely used across the open source Hadoop community to build real-time analytics applications.
Finally, Pfeil says that DataStax intends to work with partners to make Cassandra more widely available as a service in the cloud.
The degree to which Cassandra can usurp traditional relational databases remains to be seen. While $106 million is a significant amount of money, it’s a rounding error compared to what Oracle, IBM and Microsoft spend on relational databases. But at least in terms of new application workloads that need to process a lot of data and a community that spans some 1,200 developers, Cassandra has clearly emerged as a viable alternative.