AWS announces general availability of Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra)

Amazon Web Services has announced the general availability of Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra), a scalable, highly available, and fully managed database service for Cassandra workloads. It is available today.

Amazon Keyspaces

Amazon Keyspaces supports the same application code, Apache 2.0 licensed drivers, and developer tools that customers running Cassandra workloads use today.

Halliburton, Elsevier and HERE Technologies are among customers using Amazon Keyspaces, in order to easily migrate on-premises Cassandra workloads to the cloud, without the worry of managing underlying infrastructure, while realising superior scalability, availability, and manageability.


With Amazon Keyspaces, there are no servers to manage, no need to provision, configure and operate large Cassandra clusters, while customers don’t have to manually add or remove nodes or rebalance partitions as traffic scales up or down.

Also, there are no up-front investments required to use Amazon Keyspaces, and customers only pay for the capacity they use.

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Customer pain points: Cassandra clusters

Many customers using AWS have asked for help running, scaling, and managing their Cassandra database deployments, because managing large Cassandra clusters on-premises with hundreds of terabytes of data is difficult and complex.

Cassandra requires specialised expertise to set up, configure and maintain the underlying infrastructure, and needs a deep understanding of the entire application stack, including the Apache Cassandra open source software.

Aside from scaling clusters, customers must secure, patch, and operate Cassandra.

Managing and scaling Cassandra clusters also requires the regular adjustment of complex configuration settings, by manually adding or removing nodes, and rebalancing partitions, which can adversely affect availability and performance.

Most customers with variable workloads also find it challenging to scale clusters up and down, so they often end up building clusters for peak loads and incur the unnecessary cost of paying for unused capacity. And, many customers also complain that they are unable to upgrade their cluster reliably due to Cassandra’s clunky rollback and debugging features, so instead they run outdated versions of Cassandra.

“Many customers have self-managed Cassandra on Amazon EC2 or on-premises for some time, and these customers tell us that managing large Cassandra clusters is difficult because it requires specialised expertise to set up, configure, and maintain the underlying infrastructure, and necessitates a deep understanding of the entire application stack, including the Apache Cassandra open source software,” said Shawn Bice, vice president, databases, AWS.

“Amazon Keyspaces gives customers the ability to run Cassandra without having to worry about managing the underlying hardware, and because it’s also serverless, customers can stand up Cassandra clusters in minutes and scale their database up and down with ease based on the needs of their application.”

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Customer use cases

1. Halliburton

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. As part of Data Foundation, a DecisionSpace® 365 data platform, Halliburton uses a variety of purpose-built databases, including Cassandra.

“We really like the flexibility that Cassandra offers our developers, and we are excited about using Amazon Keyspaces,” said Amanda Smith, technology development manager, Halliburton.

“Amazon Keyspaces integrates with other AWS services, has built-in enterprise features, such as encryption, and provides us with a scalable, highly available, fully managed, and serverless option to run our Cassandra workloads.”

2. Elsevier

Elsevier is a global information analytics business that provides scientists and clinicians with digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education.

“We are migrating one of our customer-facing big-data analytics products to leverage latest technologies, and Cassandra meets our use case to store information because of its performance and scalability. However, we were concerned about managing and monitoring the Cassandra infrastructure due to its complexity and time required to manage and support,” said Edward Lewis, manager of information technology, Elsevier.

“Amazon Keyspaces is fully managed and serverless, giving us the scalability, fast performance, and reliability we need to run our applications.”

3. HERE Technologies

HERE Technologies enables people, enterprises, and cities to harness the power of location by providing mapping content, an integrated suite of solutions, services and development tools, and a marketplace for data to solve complex location-based problems.

“We use Cassandra to store data for our applications because of its scalability and performance. However, deploying, managing, and tuning Cassandra is time-consuming and complex,” explained Sandhya Janagam, lead database administrator, HERE Technologies.

“Amazon Keyspaces makes provisioning and deploying Cassandra possible in just a few clicks, freeing up our developers to focus on innovating our applications instead of managing infrastructure.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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