A star is born, DataStax launches Astra 

DataStax is the company behind a ‘highly available’ cloud-native NoSQL data platform built on Apache Cassandra, which (as you probably know) is a free and open source, distributed, wide column store, NoSQL database management system.

There’s a lot in DataStax that you won’t find elsewhere, but one recent naming convention might perhaps show us just how limited the number of enthusiastically positive techie terms there are available to enterprise software vendors looking for a good brand name.

Just as a whole handful of companies opted to name their developer conventions TechEd (Microsoft and SAP both, to name just two), DataStax now joins NetApp in opting to use the brand name Astra.

NetApp’s Project Astra is a ‘vision’ for a software-defined platform focused on Kubernetes, the popular cloud orchestration technology.

Over at DataStax, DataStax Astra is a DataBase-as-a-Service (DBaaS) for Apache Cassandra applications that aims to simplify cloud-native Cassandra application development.

Well, there’s room for more than one star in the sky, isn’t there?

The company claims that the DBaaS approach reduces deployment time from weeks to minutes, removing the biggest obstacle to using Cassandra, which is behind many ‘heavily used’ applications.

Massive data, zero tolerance

According to DataStax, Cassandra is a popular choice when applications need to support massive amounts of data with zero tolerance for downtime. 

According to research conducted by ClearPath Strategies, developers and operators cite the top two reasons for using Cassandra as a good hybrid solution (62 percent) and highly scalable (57 percent); however, 36 percent of practitioners cite a lack of skilled staff as the top obstacle to Cassandra adoption.

Astra hopes to overcome that operational challenge by making Cassandra’s ‘masterless’ scale-out architecture and linear scalability easily accessible as an on-demand cloud service.

NOTE: Masterless is not a piece of marketing spin, the architecture of Cassandra is ‘masterless’ in reference to the fact that all nodes are the same and Cassandra provides automatic data distribution across all nodes that participate in a ‘ring’ or database cluster.

“Astra represents a breakthrough for anyone who wants to use Cassandra in the cloud,” said Ed Anuff, chief product officer at DataStax. “We’ve been delivering products built on Cassandra to enterprises that deploy global-scale data for over a decade. Our enterprises and users have been asking for Cassandra-as-a-Service in the cloud. We’re happy to offer Astra as that experience.”

On Google Cloud, Astra deploys and manages enterprise clusters powered by Cassandra directly on top of Google Cloud’s Platform infrastructure, so that data sits in the same Google Cloud global infrastructure as applications. This means users and enterprises can deliver a high-performance experience with one of the most scalable databases on Google Cloud.

Developers can access Astra now at astra.datastax.com/register and on Google Cloud’s Marketplace.

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