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Cassandra: The Definitive Guide Paperback – November 29, 2010
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About the Author
Eben Hewitt is Director of Application Architecture at a publicly traded company where he is responsible for the design of their mission-critical, global-scale web, mobile and SOA integration projects. He has written several programming books, including Java SOA Cookbook (O'Reilly).
Top Customer Reviews
Now that the book's out and I've had a chance to read it once through, I have to say that it does not meet my expectations. The author is clearly very interested in his subject and also very anxious to share insights not only into Cassandra but into modern non-relational databases in general (to the extent of including a 25-page appendix "The Nonrelational Landscape" at the end of the book). He does a pretty good job of explaining how Cassandra works at the level of distributed storage including scaling as well as availability and consistency. And though I haven't gone through the steps, he seems to give pretty good instructions for installing, configuring and monitoring a Cassandra cluster.
What he doesn't cover nearly as well as I was hoping (and would have expected from an O'Reilly book) is data modeling in Cassandra and the actual APIs for putting data into the database and getting data out (i.e. querying). It's not that he doesn't cover these subjects at all.Read more ›
The book was written to against version 0.7b2 of Cassandra. That beta status alone should be warning of the perils of premature publication. None of the code examples work (or indeed compile) with the current API (0.7b5). Downloading the latest code from the author's spartan support site offers little gain. The zip ball contains a readme file noting that the code did work once and suggesting the reader fixes it themselves.
There is a consistent pattern of requiring the reader to understand terms which are first defined several chapters later. Slices for example, or setting up the Cassandra JMX interface which is required for data loading in chapter 4 but first described in chapter 8.
Annoying, especially as there is solid information here and it's not badly written. Had the O'Reilly editors been more pro-active, ignored the me-first commercial pressures, delayed publication until the API stabilized and sorted out the structural problems in the writing this could have been a solid read.
#1) The edition I have talks about cassandra-0.7 that is already obsolete (now on 4 March, 2013 - we have 1.2)
The preferred way of accessing the store may be CQL3 now.
#2) As an application developer - The biggest concern I had was around solving my problem or data modeling. I do not want to delve too much into how to create a cluster and all. The example model of Hotel reservation is too simplistic. You are better off reading Jay Patel's Ebay tech blogs or Datastax's metric collection sample on the subject. They do a much better job of explaining the cassandra data model.
Also, any effort to introduce cassandra data modeling in terms of "equivalent RDBMS terms " is fraught with danger as cassandra is actually a big map. The book comes short on my data modeling expectations.
#3) Apart from storage, many people would be looking to run analytic on top of cassandra. It would have been great to explain how to run Hadoop/Pig on top of latest cassandra in detail.
#4) I do not/ cannot comment on how this book is for clustering and administration - because that is not my interest - please check other reviews for that.
The fact that we invest in books because they stand the test of time does not apply here. You cannot pull out this book from shelf two years down the line to check some fact or jog your memory. O'reilly sucks big time. These kinds of book are nothing but an effort to ride the latest wave of technology.
Given that the only real way to learn system is to code to it this presents a real challenge. The current book will give you an overview and feel for Cassandra but will not by itself allow you to start using it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If we were in 2010 then I would be here singing the praises of Cassandra: The Definitive Guide. Unfortunately, five years have passed since it has hit the shelves and while the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jascha Casadio
Discounting the fact this is out of date, I went ahead and bought this to get a general understanding of Cassandra that was hopefully better than the marketing drivel you find... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Al
1. Out of date.
2. Nearly useless if you are looking at it from the perspective of an application developer who needs to interact with it as a data store. Read more
The book is old (late 2010) so you have to be careful as using it out of the box without checking online what has changed since. Read morePublished on June 5, 2014 by Rodrigo A. Bartels
It's as technical as any geek who wants to get to learn Cassandra and have an extended guide would desire.Published on May 28, 2013 by Cristina
Writer is a PM, not a tech guy. I could not trust the contents in the book, and there were no real examples to show the subtleties of cassandra. Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by S. Wang
This book has good material, but getting old fast, and it was not well written.
It uses terms without prior definition, it speaks only from the framework of "I already know... Read more
I will be giving a huge presentation on all the NoSQL Databases for the IndianaJUG group in January. Read morePublished on September 24, 2011 by Tom Hunter
Original review written by Roberto Bentivoglio, JUG Lugano, [...]
Cassandra is one of the most famous NoSQL database. Read more