Getting Ready for Cassandra Summit 2016


Apache Cassandra is a highly scalable, high performance distributed database, designed to handle large amounts of data across multiple servers providing high availability with no single point of failure.

It is almost an year we started exploring Apache Cassandra. In the last 12 months, we created several prototypes and spent countless number of hours testing the various features cassandra offers. So far we are very satisfied with the results and moving ahead with migrating one of our databases to Cassandra on production.

casssandra summit

Cassandra Summit 2016 is happening in San Jose from 6th to 9th September 2016. I see this as an opportunity to learn more about Cassandra, see real world case studies and meet a bunch of Cassandra experts. This is going to be my first experience attending a conference on Cassandra and I am hopeful that this will be a different learning experience, much different from the various resources we used so far to build our Cassandra expertise.

From SQL Server to Cassandra

This is the first time I am getting really serious about a database management system other than SQL Server. I have been actively focusing on Microsoft SQL Server for over 15 years. I started with SQL Server 6.5/7.0 in the late nineties and it was then a non-stop journey for close to two decades. During this period, I worked on several high volume SQL Server centric applications, wrote two books (and contributed to a third one) and numerous SQL Server articles and blog posts, presented at several SQL Server conferences in India, USA and Europe. I was a Microsoft MVP for 8 years and got several opportunities to be at Redmond, had close interactions with the core SQL Server team and given access to several insiders resources. After spending time and energy on SQL Server for so long, shifting attention to another database management system was certainly painful.

The tests and experiments we did with Cassandra so far show very promising results to address some of the challenges we are having in our environment. We found the scalability features built into Cassandra to be amazing. We already have a distributed database environment built with Microsoft SQL Server, so we have ‘sort of’ addressed the scaling issue. However,  we see that Cassandra can make our life much easier and remove a lot of database administration overheads and bring significant reduction on licensing costs (we all know that SQL Server EE (Enterprise Edition) is usually mocked as Expensive Edition).

Cassandra Summit 2016

Cassandra Summit 2016 is happening at San Jose Convention Center from September 6 to 9. I have already selected the sessions I am going to attend :). Here is my wish list:

  1. Monitoring Cassandra: Don’t miss a thing – by Alain Rodriguez
  2. Cassandra Internals: The Read Path – by Tyler Hobbs
  3. Moving from Experiment to Production – by Christos Kalantzis
  4. Monitoring Cassandra at Scale – by Jason Cacciatore
  5. Cassandra Backups and Restorations using Ansible – by Joshua Wickman
  6. Hey Relational Developer, Let’s go crazy – by Patrick McFadin
  7. Troubleshooting Cassandra – by J. B. Langston
  8. Everything you wanted to learn about Tunable Consistency – by Edward Capriolo
  9. Securing Cassandra for Compliance (or Paranoia) – by Nate McCall
  10. Building a Multi-region cluster at target – by Aaron Ploetz
  11. Always On: Building highly available applications on Cassandra –  by Robbie Strickland
  12. Apache Cassandra multi-datacenter essentials – by Julien Anguenot
  13. Scalable Data Modeling by example – by Carlos Alonso
  14. The Promise and Perils of encrypting Cassandra Data – by Ameesh Divatia


Cassandra Summit runs several parallel tracks and it put me in dilemma a number of times while selecting the sessions I want to attend. I have very high expectations from this conference and I will share my experience once I am back.