Cassandra: The Definitive Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: November 2010
Pages: 332

What could you do with data if scalability wasn't a problem? With this hands-on guide, you'll learn how Apache Cassandra handles hundreds of terabytes of data while remaining highly available across multiple data centers -- capabilities that have attracted Facebook, Twitter, and other data-intensive companies. Cassandra: The Definitive Guide provides the technical details and practical examples you need to assess this database management system and put it to work in a production environment.

Author Eben Hewitt demonstrates the advantages of Cassandra's nonrelational design, and pays special attention to data modeling. If you're a developer, DBA, application architect, or manager looking to solve a database scaling issue or future-proof your application, this guide shows you how to harness Cassandra's speed and flexibility.

  • Understand the tenets of Cassandra's column-oriented structure
  • Learn how to write, update, and read Cassandra data
  • Discover how to add or remove nodes from the cluster as your application requires
  • Examine a working application that translates from a relational model to Cassandra's data model
  • Use examples for writing clients in Java, Python, and C#
  • Use the JMX interface to monitor a cluster's usage, memory patterns, and more
  • Tune memory settings, data storage, and caching for better performance
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O'Reilly MediaCassandra: The Definitive Guide
 
3.6

(based on 5 reviews)

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80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Well-written (5)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (3)
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    • Developer (4)

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3.0

A insightful but, unfortunately, very outdated introduction

By Jascha

from Barcelona

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

  • Outdated

Best Uses

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Cassandra: The Definitive Guide:

    If we were in 2010 then I would be here singing the praises of Cassandra: The Definitive Guide. Unfortunately, five years have passed since it has hit the shelves and while the book still provides some interesting insights about Cassandra, it definitely suffers its age. At the time of printing, version 0.7 was about to get released. As we speak, Cassandra reached version 2.1.2.

    With this being said, a warning: to get the most out of this title, the reader must have a good grasp of both Java (all the code is in Java!) and relational databases. Yes relational databases, because throughout the whole book the author constantly presents challenges and how they could be solved with RDBMs (if they ever could) and Cassandra.

    I like the approach of the author. He doesn't want the reader to switch whatever database he's using to Cassandra. There is no need to drive a semi truck to go buy cigarettes. No, the author rather wants us to know what Cassandra is and what it can offer so that we can make an informed decision. The question thus is what would you do if you had this durability, this scalability and these blazing fast writes?

    In these 300 pages all the aspects of the life cycle of a Cassandra cluster are covered: installation, configuration, monitoring and how to keep it healthy. The code is not missing but, back to the original problem, it refers to an outdated API or, worse, to the CLI, which is now close to get completely deprecated, which means that to replicate what the author does, you often have to go search in the CLI wiki.

    A nice book, no doubts. While the project significantly evolved since 2010, it still provides valuable information to anyone new to Cassandra.

    As usual, you can find more reviews on my personal blog: http://books.lostinmalloc.com Feel free to pass by and share your thoughts!

     
    4.0

    Good technical information.

    By Patrick

    from Vancouver, BC

    About Me Developer, Sys Admin

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Cassandra: The Definitive Guide:

      I was mostly interested in how Cassandra is implemented and how it works, internally. This book provided the information I was looking for.

      (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Nice but badly outdated

      By Jesse

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Well Written
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • Badly Outdated

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Cassandra: The Definitive Guide:

        The book is well written and would presumably be greatly useful except that it was written for a version of Cassandra so outdated that the book examples are not relevant anymore.

        I would gladly purchase an updated second edition of this book

        (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Get into NoSQL mindset

        By Abi

        from Chennai,India

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Cassandra: The Definitive Guide:

          I have been into RDBMS for a long time. Recently I observed a lot of buzz around NoSQL databases. I initially thought them as 'No' SQL databases. A few blogs on the web corrected me : NoSQL stands for "not-only SQL'.

          There are lot of NoSQL databases : Cassandra, MemCacheDB, Redis, MongoDB, Hadoop to name a few. Of all these Cassandra sounded a widely adopted database. It is being used in production environment of many famous web2.0 applications , Facebook, Reddit, Digg, Cisco, Twitter and many more. Cassandra is Facebook's own tool that is incubated by Apache as Open-source.

          Cassandra - The definitive guide is just the book to get started in NoSQL and Cassandra concepts together. It takes readers from basic to advanced levels building concepts gradually. There are lot of examples throughout the book to illustrate Cassandra features.

          The NoSQL database design requires non-relational approach. A little mind-shift is needed if you come from RDBMS background. The author has realized this and has sincerely set seperate sections that talks how both the design approaches vary, what are the design patterns for NoSQL databases and what aspects are to be kept in mind when going schemaless. In fact both approaches are illustrated for the same sample application. More details on non-relational databases are provided in Appendix-A.

          Seperate chapters focus on Cassandra's architecture, ways to configure it, monitor and maintain the production environment. These provide in-depth information to system/database administrators looking for quick,practical information to speed up their learning. Also,if you are already aware of Hadoop (or) looking for a way to integerate Hadoop and Cassandra this book can help you.

          This is an excellent book for developers and database administrators alike. If your notion is to build highly-scalable db that can make fast-writes and store terabytes of data then Cassandra should be your choice. And to learn Cassandra this should be the book you pick up.

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Wrapping my mind around Cassandra

          By Scott the developer

          from Midland, VA

          About Me Designer, Developer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate
            • Student

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Cassandra: The Definitive Guide:

            This book covers a complex topic for me. A developer/designer by trade, I usually work with database managers when I have a site that is data heavy. I read a little about this book and what Cassandra is, and thought I would try to wrap my mind around it, especially since I am always interested in emerging technology. 'Cassandra - The Definitive Guide' delivered. It is definitely a complex topic, but the author, Eben Hewitt, went to great lengths to simplify topics, and explain them in detail. He brings you into the world of Cassandra by first explaining some of the history of data and databases, and believe it or not, made it a very interesting read. There are hands on exercises in the book that are not too difficult to follow, but, I would not recommend them for the novice. I now have a much better understanding of where data in the world of social networking is headed. Thanks Eben.

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