The Cassandra data store is an open source Apache project available at http://cassandra.apache.org. Cassandra originated at Facebook in 2007 to solve that company’s inbox search problem, in which they had to deal with large volumes of data in a way that was difficult to scale with traditional methods. Specifically, the team had requirements to handle huge volumes of data in the form of message copies, reverse indices of messages, and many random reads and many simultaneous random writes.
The team was led by Jeff Hammerbacher, with Avinash Lakshman, Karthik Ranganathan, and Facebook engineer on the Search Team Prashant Malik as key engineers. The code was released as an open source Google Code project in July 2008. During its tenure as a Google Code project in 2008, the code was updateable only by Facebook engineers, and little community was built around it as a result. So in March 2009 it was moved to an Apache Incubator project, and on February 17, 2010 it was voted into a top-level project.
Cassandra today presents a kind of paradox: it feels new and radical, and yet it’s solidly rooted in many standard, traditional computer science concepts and maxims that successful predecessors have already institutionalized. Cassandra is a realist’s kind of database; it doesn’t depart from the relational model to be a fun art project or experiment for smart developers. It was created specifically to solve a real-world problem that existing tools weren’t able to solve. It acknowledges the limitations of prior methods and faces our new world of big data head-on.