OSC introduces the Rimm-Kaufman Group to Cassandra

John Berryman — September 8, 2013

The Rimm-Kaufman Group (RKG) provides a wide range of Data-Driven online marketing solutions to online businesses. RKG clients range from startups to the Fortune 500, and of late business has been growing at an ever increasing rate. This is great! But this also means that ever increasing pressure is placed upon their current MySQL-based infrastructure. Since RKG anticipates their clientele to continue growing larger, RKG decided that now is the time to take action and upgrade their infrastructure. And their technology of choice: Cassandra.

Cassandra is a distributed, columnar data store that is optimized for lightening fast writes and high performance reads. Cassandra is capable of scaling horizontally to hundreds of servers. And all data in Cassandra is replicated across servers so that a single or even multiple failures will result neither in loss of data nor service interruption.

Over the course of our two month project, OpenSource Connections aided RKG in building and deploying at production-ready Cassandra cluster. Highlights of the work are as follows:

  • Upon reviewing RKGs technical and business requirements, OpenSource Connections outlined the hardware specifications and defined the optimal cluster configuration. Based upon this information, new servers were purchased and assembled into the production Cassandra cluster.
  • Part of the challenge when moving from SQL to Cassandra is getting your head around the new, and somewhat foreign way that Cassandra expects you to model data. OpenSource Connections worked closely with RKG developers to port their current solutions to Cassandra.
  • Testing is almost as important as developing an appropriate data model. OpenSource Connections helped RKG design a Cassandra test framework that fit in well with their current MySQL testing framework.
  • Before leaving RKG, OpenSource Connections provide the RKG tech team with a full-day training course in Cassandra development and systems administration. As part of the training, the development team brainstormed solutions to actual in-house development objectives.

By the time that OpenSource Connections left, RKG was up and running with their new 7-node Cassandra cluster – capable of storing terabytes of data and accepting more than 10K writes per second! But more important than this, RKG is now fully able to utilize and maintain their new Cassandra cluster on their own.


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