Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra: Apache Cassandra Datacenters
In the present competitive business environment, consistent and enhanced analysis and management of large volumes of data are one of the crucial functions to be executed by an organization. Over the past decades, certain types of data management architectures have evolved that have some unique potentials of their own. The Apache Cassandra architecture is an example of this development in the market. Designed to provide high scalability and extreme reliability in terms of storing huge volumes of data, the service provides a distributed system of data storage. In simple words, the distributed system can be deployed in a single machine or even in a docker container.
A single instance of the Apache Cassandra is termed as a ‘node’. Each of these nodes can perform all the database operations of the user organization even without requiring a master node. To enhance the productivity of the features provided by the Apache Cassandra architecture, Microsoft designed the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra which is currently in public preview.
Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra: Meaning and Uses in an organization
The term Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra refers to a service developed by Microsoft. It provides automated deployment capability with high scaling capacity for managed open-source Apache Cassandra Datacenters. This service was introduced and made available in the public preview format by Microsoft earlier this year in the Microsoft Ignite along with certain other software applications and tools with additional features. These can be categorized in the following manner:-
- Azure Active Directory
- Azure Arc
- MS Azure Percept
- Azure Machine Learning
- Azure Purview
- MS Azure Synapse Analytics
- Azure Migrate
- Azure Sentinel
- Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service
- Azure ML
- Azure AI
- Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics
- Azure Cognitive Services
- Azure Percept Studio.
The uses of the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra in the business process of an organization can be understood through the benefits provided by the service.
These can be enumerated in the following manner:-
- The service allows the user to perform hybrid deployments to the cloud.
- The process of scaling up and down the Cassandra nodes in an Azure Data Center is very simple.
- The features within the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra pricing range for a service that is very cost-effective for the user organization.
Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra pricing range: A discussion
The features included in the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra pricing range provide the user organization with easy deployment and high scalability. Apart from this, the service is based on flexibility in data management. Moreover, even in hybrid scenarios using business-critical applications, and provides seamless data migration through the use of containerization tools while providing complete synchronization with the cloud-native environment. There are certain other advantages provided by the application.
These can be stated in the following manner:-
- The data management is done in a flexible and controlled manner
- The data security features adhere to industry-specific standards.
- The pricing structure is simple and designed on the Instance model. This implies that it is cost-effective for the user organization.
- The user company is billed according to the individual usage of the reporting capabilities.
- The capacity provisioning can be scaled up or down according to the addition or removal of virtual machines on the Azure virtual network.
The pricing details can be presented in the following tabular format:-
- Compute – The pricing and billing details of the DSv2 sizes are similar to the Dv2-series.
|DS14 v2||16||112 GB||224 GiB||$2.288/hour|
- Storage – This refers to the premium SSD Managed disks that have high performance and solid-state drive-based storage which is developed for supporting input or output intensive workloads that have significantly high throughput and low latency. The Azure Managed Disk Reservation helps the user company to lower the disk storage cost through a one-year commitment to Premium SSD Managed disk capacity which lowers the architectural dependency. The prices under this head are billed every month.
|Disk Size||IOPS per disk||Throughput per disk||Price per month|
|P30 1 TiB||5,000||200 MBps||$166.259/month|
- Back up storage – The Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra pricing range offers the user organization two copies of the stored data at no added cost which implies that these two backup copies are free. The features for providing backup copies are available to make the process of disaster recovery hassle-free for the user company. The backup of the data is stored through the active geo-replication feature of the Database services in Azure. If required by the user company, additional copies of the data can be asked for, by filing a request through the Azure Portal. These additional copies are charged at a monthly cost of $0.15 per GB.
|Backup storage||Total GB||Price|
|Stored backup data (2 copies)||GBs per copy||Free|
|Stored backup data (>2 copies)||GBs per copy||$0.123/month|
An explanation of the features:
The features under the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra pricing range are currently available in the public preview format. This implies that not all the features are completely available in the present form. The basic aim behind developing this service was to provide the user companies, the ability to manage the native clusters of the Apache Cassandra in the cloud platform through the use of certain analytics tools that can initiate automated deployment to the cloud from the on-premises infrastructure.
In addition to this, the service also helps the user to scale operations in mixed reality or hybrid scenarios and also consistently reduces the management cost. In the present competitive business environment, while moving to the cloud platform is a quite challenging experience, it is also equally inevitable. This implies the need for adapting to the changing norms that are associated with running a platform as a service solution. At times the user companies may also need to use certain features of Apache Cassandra that are not suited in the Cassandra API of Azure Cosmos DB as well as the cloud-native environment.
But, with the use of Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra, the user organization can easily provision hosted data and back up the center of the Apache Cassandra, to the Azure cloud along with complete features compatibility.
Certain additional capabilities can also be considered as additional features that are also included within the service. These include the following:-
- Hybrid data services which include connectivity with a certain existing on-premises or a cloud cluster.
- The existing Apache Cassandra deployments can be moved to the Managed Instance with zero downtime.
- The Apache Cassandra nodes can be scaled up and down in the Azure Data centre.
- The previous data centre can be safely deleted.
- A repair action can be started on a keyspace.
- The configurations of the backup centre can be changed.
- The service performs automated periodic backups.
- The advanced security features of the service provide the organizational data they required security at the app level.
- The service also performs seamless replication to Azure Cosmos DB Cassandra API.
Database Management through Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra:
The Database Management feature of the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra is one of the important benefits of the service. In a situation where the user organization considers using Cassandra as a bridge to Azure Cosmos DB, the Azure clusters have to be configured as a hybrid cluster. But, even before creating a Cassandra cluster, the user company needs to deploy it, name it and later connect it to the Azure Virtual Network.
To manage the data in a hassle-free manner, the Cassandra has to be configured for performing node-to-node encryption. This feature has to be enabled even if the service is not using Cassandra for the on-premise installation. Later, the encryption certificate has to be installed in an Azure-hosted cluster using the Azure CLI which allows the two sites to communicate through an encrypted gossip connection. In addition to this, the Azure CLI has to be used to send the details of the node and for creating a new data center in the azure managed cluster.
In addition to simplifying data management within the service, the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra also has the potential to support certain other Azure applications including the Azure Databricks, Azure Apache Spark Analytics, and other analytics tools. The service is designed by Microsoft which has been consistently depicting its commitment to cloud operations in a hybrid environment through the manipulation of data.
The Managed route to running Cassandra in the Azure Cloud helps in creating a bridge of NoSQL data between the on-premise tools and the cloud platform. Finally, the proprietary replication protocol of Cassandra ensures the data replication and the Azure cloud ensures that the data is up to date and secure.
Benefits of the instance-based pricing:
There appears to be not much difference between running Apache in the Azure cloud or other open-source databases. Within the Azure cloud, the user company needs to login to the Azure Portal, search for a Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra, and subsequently create clusters. But, to add an Azure Service to the subscription, the user needs to follow certain steps including the filling up of the resource group option and choosing a location. In addition to this, a name and VM type also have to be selected.
The current preview format is limited to DS14_v2 servers that are attached to 4 P30 disks. The user company should expect to pay atheists $2.11 per hour per server, which is dependent on where the service is provisioned. But, the instance-based pricing model is beneficial for the fact that the user pays for only the storage capacity used, and even the first two backup copies of the data are provided free of cost. This refers to successful cost management by the user company while using the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra.
Storage limitations of Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra:
The storage and throughput limits of the service are dependent on the Virtual Machine SKUs chosen by the user organization.
EPC Group consultation for Azure Services: An Apache Cassandra perspective
The EPC Group is very popular in the contemporary market as a large-scale organization succeeding in providing state-of-the-art software solutions and IT services to their clients. The organization is gaining popularity in the market for the innovative data management and integration solutions provided by them. In addition to providing software solutions according to the user organization’s business needs, the consultation pattern of the EPC Group reflects certain advantages.
These can be enumerated in the following manner:-
- The organization provides customized consultation sessions for Azure and training programs according to the specific needs of their client companies.
- The group of experts working as consultants ensure that the compute capacity needs of the user company is met by the software solutions provided to them.
- The EPC Group is one of the organizations known in the software consultation market, for the end to end security provided to the data and their strict privacy policies.
- Finally, the software solution to the client organizations can be seamlessly deployed and integrated into their database.
Apart from this, the company has more than two decades of experience in Azure and Power BI consultation and has been dedicated to helping its clients successfully deploy advantageous software tools and applications. In addition to this, the EPC Group is also a Gold certificate partner of Microsoft which makes it one of the best consultants for the Azure services required by any organization in the competitive market.
The introduction of the Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra by mice has been one of the highlights for the cloud environment. This is a NoSQL database service. It plays the role of tough competition to companies that work essentially with Cassandra data. According to Microsoft, the service is a semi-managed application that has the potential of allowing its users access to the Azure cloud services. It provides them with the passage to bring the Cassandra-based workloads into the Azure Cloud.
Moreover, The fundamental purpose of developing the service was to provide the Azure users with the necessary access to a database service. Especially, in the cloud platform that performs workloads in a scalable manner. Previously, to derive this advantage, companies had to migrate to Azure Cosmos DB or manage a collection of virtual machines or invest in on-premises infrastructure. Thus, Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra is one of the most beneficial services developed by Microsoft.
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Sas Chatterjee is a Senior Architect with EPC Group. His focus lies in making sure that the execution of each engagement is delivered in a forward compatible, best practices manner. Sas is an extremely devoted professional and takes each project he is assigned very seriously. During the project execution phase, Sas invests the time needed with his clients to gain a full understanding of their requirements and develops a roadmap for achieving their desired end goal.
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