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9/7/2010
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Quest Software Supports Cassandra NoSQL Database

Popular management suite integrated with budding alternative for big-data transaction processing.

In ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra can see into the future, but Apollo places a curse on her so that nobody believes her prophesies.

In the context of today's NoSQL computing movement, Apache Cassandra is seen by some as the future of big data transaction processing. Quest Software on Tuesday confirmed that it's among the believers by announcing support for Cassandra through its Toad for Cloud Databases software.

"There are a lot of new data stores arising, but we think Cassandra is really here to stay," said Christian Hasker, director of product management for database management at Quest, in an interview with InformationWeek.

"We attended the Cassandra Summit in San Francisco last month and it was not only oversubscribed, there was a tremendous buzz about the platform," he said.

Created by FaceBook to support real-time searching across its vast social network, Cassandra is gaining recognition as an extremely scalable option for high-performance transaction processing. The database supports clustered deployments across low-cost commodity hardware, and it's a step up for MySQL users who want to avoid labor-intensive sharding and partitioning -- techniques required to make conventional relational database scale up.

Cassandra also has strong support for multi-data-center deployments, functionality that serves it well in cloud deployments.

Quest's Toad software has been popular database development, administration and data integration tool for more than a decade. The new Cloud version, first announced in June, gives users a way to manage non-relational databases such as Cassandra in the same environment they use to handle conventional relational databases such as Oracle, DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server.

The first beta release of Toad for Cloud Databases included support for Amazon Simple DB, HBase, Microsoft Azure Table Services and SQL Azure. With the 1.1 beta release announced Tuesday, Quest added support for Cassandra and it also announced plans to support Hive (a component of Hadoop) by year end.

Quest also announced that it has entered into an alliance with Riptano, a company that provides software, support, and services for Cassandra. The two companies said they will investigate the need for monitoring, diagnostic and data-movement tools for Cassandra for enterprise deployments. That could lead to development of related software in 2011, Quest said.

Cassandra is used by a prominent Internet companies including Facebook, Digg and Reddit, but Riptano said there are huge growth prospects among conventional enterprises with large-scale transactional environments that scaling into the tens of terabytes and beyond.

"We've been surprised to discover much higher use of Cassandra within traditional enterprises than we anticipated," said Matt Pfeil, CEO of Riptano.

More than 50 of the firms represented at the recent Cassandra Summit already have the database in production, according to Pfeil, and several of those are Fortune 100 companies, he said.

To foster the use of Cassandra, Quest also announced on Tuesday that Riptano will contribute content to CloudDBPedia. The Quest-hosted online knowledgebase is said to be product neutral, offering videos, podcasts, blogs and a community-run wiki focused on NoSQL technologies.

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