Cassandra: Open Source Bigtable + Dynamo

Jonathan Ellis (DataStax)
Location: Ballroom A2
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 9 ratings)


  • Dynamo architecture + Bigtable data model
  • Project history
  • Who’s using Cassandra in production


Dynamo similarities:

  • Brief overview of Dynamo
  • Eventually consistent
  • Read repair
  • Hinted handoff

What’s different:

  • Order-preserving hash allows range queries
  • Timestamps instead of vector clocks

Data model

  • Modeled on SSTables described in Bigtable paper
  • No random writes, only sequential; read not required before write
  • key/columnfamily
  • supercolumns
  • Indexes everywhere

Putting things together

  • Example of migrating a traditional RDBMS schema to Cassandra columnfamilies
Photo of Jonathan Ellis

Jonathan Ellis


Jonathan is an expert in databases and distributed systems. At Mozy, he built a scalable multi-petabyte storage system based on Reed-Solomon encoding.

He currently works on cloud infrastructure for Rackspace.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences or contact mediapartners@

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

OSCON Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the OSCON newsletter (login required)

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts