Didn't see that coming: DataStax emits open source Kubernetes operator for Cassandra

Although you need to hop in the Management API sidecar for the really good stuff

NoSQL slinger DataStax has released an open source Kubernetes operator for Apache Cassandra as it seeks to cosy back up to the community.

Fresh from snapping up Cassandra consultancy The Last Pickle for an undisclosed amount on 3 March, the veteran NoSQL biz has rounded out the month by opening up the source to its Kubernetes operator, replete with lessons learned from its forever-in-beta hosted Cassandra product, Astra (formerly Apollo.)

Operators are one way to deal with the complexities of Kubernetes, abstracting (at least in theory) the user from the grungy bits of deploying and operating an application behind familiar Kubernetes tooling. Certainly, deploying and managing something like Cassandra in such an environment can be challenging enough without having to dive elbow-deep into the guts of thing.

DataStax is not the only game in town when it comes to a Kubernetes operator, other Cassandra users have contributed the things. However, where many are geared up to the specific needs of a given commercial entity, Chief strategy officer Sam Ramji told The Register that the code released today started from a point of "What would it take to have an operator that works for literally everybody?"

He quickly added the "we're not assuming that this is the one operator to rule them all," but expressed a hope that "maybe six months or a year from now, we end up with a consensus operator that takes the best parts of all."

It is, however, also worth noting that contained with code being shared is also all the lessons learned during the time its hosted service, Astra, has been in preview and been hammered by users. "That's kind of our skin in the game," observed Ramji, "because without practice, theory is kind of bullshit."


Ramji, a veteran of both Google and Microsoft, joined DataStax some months ago in December and followed the appointment of fellow former Google staffer, Chet Kapoor as CEO in October. The arrivals followed a period where Ramji delicately admitted the company had been accused of "bad behaviour", or of being a tad "heavy handed". The new approach is very much one of community engagement. "Open source markets are," according to Ramji, "about abundance, and the community creates that abundance."

The Open Core Summit 2019

Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing


It's an interesting approach, and a little at odds with some other notable NoSQL vendors, who have gone down the path of tinkering with licences in order to protect their revenue stream. DataStax's approach is more down the services path, hence the purchase of The Last Pickle. Decent revenues, according to Ramji, also help when it comes to dispensing the largesse.

Patrick McFadin, responsible for developer relations at DataStax, cited the release of the operator as an example of the change in the "mood music" at DataStax as far as the Cassandra community is concerned and was keen to point out that perhaps obscured behind the Kubernetes excitement was "the real juice" – the Management API sidecar.

Cassandra predates Kubernetes, and managing it is usually done via command line or through the sometimes awkward Java Management Extensions (JMX.) Describing the operators as "the tip of the iceberg", McFadin hoped that other vendors would pick up on the API and provide management tools that were a little less user... unfriendly.

Certainly, DataStax has a little way to go in fully re-engaging with the Cassandra community, but the release of the Kubernetes operator, and the manner of the release, is a step in the right direction. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?
    A sneak peek at a notebook that could be revealed this year

    Pic As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world's first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

    In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA's governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

    It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International's software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

    Continue reading
  • Did ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech, senators ask
    Biz tells us: Won't someone please think of the ... fraud we've stopped

    Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate "evidence of deceptive statements" made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

    ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup's facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

    Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. "Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users," it said in January.

    Continue reading
  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022