When and How to Migrate from DataStax to Open Source Apache Cassandra

The key to any successful migration to Open Source Apache Cassandra is careful planning to keep any disruptions and downtime to an absolute minimum.

Sponsored by Instaclustr

Harnessing the incredible wealth that real-time data creates isn’t just a luxury for many organizations–it’s absolutely vital for sustainability and growth. However, the challenge is that the underlying database technology to power such applications can be complex and costly to use. That being the case, many businesses are evaluating alternatives to their current cloud database or database-as-a-service solutions like DataStax.

Increasingly, the choice is to migrate to open-source Apache Cassandra for the flexibility, strong performance, and cost savings it delivers. Specifically, they are moving to an enterprise-grade Cassandra solution that provides the scalability, management, and resiliency capabilities needed to run their operations and businesses.

The case for migrating to Open-source Apache Cassandra

The decision to move from an open-core solution like DataStax Enterprise to develop and support real-time applications to open source Apache Cassandra can be based on multiple factors.

Some businesses want to avoid vendor lock-in. For example, one critical issue to note for those running older versions of DataStax Enterprise is that starting with DataStax Enterprise 6.0 and beyond, DataStax changed file formats. The SSTable files used to store information in the database are no longer compatible with open-source Apache Cassandra.

Others are looking for alternatives because they desire particular features and want them developed over a faster time frame than a vendor would offer. That plays into the strength of open-source solutions and communities. But many times, the choice to migrate comes down to the long-term cost savings.

The key to any successful migration is carefully planning to keep any disruptions and downtime to an absolute minimum, beginning with a thorough analysis of the ROI you can achieve by switching to open source. Below are some of the fundamental ideas to consider to ensure a smooth migration.

See also: Understanding the Difference Between the Open Source and Open Core

Considerations for a successful migration

Other factors to consider and steps to take when carrying out a migration include:

Evaluate the current situation: Perform a gap analysis. Determine what, if any, proprietary features are currently in use. Those features would need to be replaced with open-source alternatives.

Remove dependencies: If any proprietary features are used, remove any dependencies an application has on those proprietary features.

Install Cassandra: Download and install Casandra from the Apache Cassandra website.

Switch nodes to Cassandra: Working with one node at a time to avoid disruption, shut down the DataStax Enterprise node, run a migration script, and then start the node running Cassandra. Repeat this process until all nodes are migrated.

Check the work: Ensure the system is working properly. Check the status and performance of the new Cassandra cluster to see if it is functioning properly.

After these steps are completed, remove the older database solution.

If the migration is to new nodes (as opposed to migrating to an existing node), the first three steps are the same. Additional steps include provisioning the new infrastructure (be it on-premises or cloud-based), synchronizing the data to the new infrastructure, and connecting the applications that use that data to the new Cassandra database.

See also: The Benefits of Open Source Apache Cassandra vs Open Core Vendors

Instaclustr as your technology partner

While businesses can perform the migration on their own, many opt to work with a technology partner for their expertise and migration best practices while offloading the chores from internal staff. That speeds up a migration and ensures it is carried out with minimal disruptions. Look for one that has a proven track record of doing large-scale migrations.

These are all areas where Instaclustr shines.

With 300 million node hours of operational experience managing open source technologies like Apache Cassandra, Instaclustr has helped businesses build and modernize their infrastructure to develop and deploy large-scale real-time applications. They accomplish this via its managed platform for open source solutions, including Apache Cassandra, Apache Kafka, Apache Spark, PostgreSQL, and more.

Additionally, the company has extensive expertise in DataStax migrations. Customers that they have helped in such a migration include Dignius, Dream 11, Siteminder, IBM, and Clear Capital.

Instaclustr offers flexible, collaborative working arrangements to help with a DataStax migration and management after the migration is completed. Its services cover everything from consultation help to plan a migration to managed services to run Apache Cassandra to ongoing support.

Importantly, Instaclustr provides a fully managed service for Apache Cassandra that is SOC 2 certified. It can be hosted in the cloud or on-prem. It customizes and optimizes a cluster configuration to a business’s application requirements.

Cassandra configurations are tuned for reliability, performance, and security. And Instaclustr monitors Cassandra’s usage and reports findings on a health check page to help apply best practice usage of a deployment.

A final word about migrating to Apache Cassandra with Instaclustr

Teaming with Instaclustr for a DataStax migration to Apache Cassandra, businesses get a lower-cost, scalable NoSQL database that is fully managed.

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