Presented By O’Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 11, 2018: Training & Tutorials
September 12–13, 2018: Keynotes & Sessions
New York, NY

Cassandra versus cloud databases

Jonathan Ellis (DataStax)
3:30pm–4:10pm Thursday, 09/13/2018
Big data and data science in the cloud
Location: 1A 23/24 Level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with SQL and database fundamentals

What you'll learn

  • Explore Cassandra, Cloud Spanner, CosmosDB, and DynamoDB and learn when to use each


Apache Cassandra is 10 years old. It was created at a time when the best practice for large applications was sharded relational databases. Since then, open source NoSQL has become an accepted part of the industry, and leading cloud vendors have created their own PAAS offerings. Is Cassandra still relevant?

Jonathan Ellis discusses Cassandra’s strengths and weaknesses relative to Amazon DynamoDB, Microsoft CosmosDB, and Google Cloud Spanner, covering the trade-offs they make for the CAP theorem, the data model they expose, how they handle cross-region replication, and the consistency guarantees they offer. Jonathan offers a brief overview of the architecture of each system, either published or inferred, and the implications those have for their suitability for different workloads. He then details unique features of each and makes recommendations as to which should be on your company’s short list for infrastructure investment.

Photo of Jonathan Ellis

Jonathan Ellis


Jonathan Ellis is cofounder and CTO at DataStax and the founding project chair of Apache Cassandra. Previously, Jonathan built a multipetabyte, scalable storage system based on Reed-Solomon encoding for backup provider Mozy.