Ben Slater

Ben Slater

Chief Product Officer

As Chief Product Officer, Ben is charged with steering Instaclustr’s development roadmap and overseeing the product engineering, production support, open source and consulting teams.

Ben has over 20 years experience in systems development including previously as lead architect for the product that is now Oracle Policy Automation and over 10 years as a solution architect and project manager for Accenture. He has extensive experience in managing development teams and implementing quality controlled engineering practices.

Ben's Articles

Preview Release of Instaclustr’s Managed Redis

Friday 15th May 2020

Instaclustr is pleased to announce the public preview of our managed in-memory database offering: Managed Redis. Latency is always a consideration and for speed nothing beats an in-memory database. Redis brings this speed...

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Preview Release of Apache Cassandra 4.0

Friday 6th March 2020

Instaclustr announces immediate availability of a preview release of Apache Cassandra 4.0 on the Instaclustr Managed Platform. This release is designed to allow Instaclustr customers to easily undertake any application-specific testing of Apache...

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Instaclustr Announces PCI-DSS Certification

Wednesday 19th February 2020

Instaclustr is very pleased to announce that we have achieved PCI-DSS certification for our Managed Apache Cassandra and Managed Apache Kafka offerings running in AWS. PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard)...

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Using Operatr with Instaclustr Managed Kafka

Monday 4th November 2019

Instaclustr’s Managed Kafka is compatible with a wide range of Kafka tools and add-ons. One really interesting, recently released tool we have come across is Operatr. This blog walks through the main functions...

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5 Reasons to Choose Apache Cassandra Over DynamoDB

Monday 16th September 2019

Overview – Why Apache Cassandra Over DynamoDB DynamoDB and Apache Cassandra are both very popular distributed data store technologies. Both are used successfully in many applications and production-proven at phenomenal scale.  At Instaclustr,...

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Introducing Certified Apache Cassandra

Thursday 9th May 2019

At Instaclustr, our vision is to provide organizations the freedom to confidently deliver applications at the highest levels of scale and reliability through open source technologies. Today, we are proud to announce the...

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Updated Apache Kafka Benchmarking

Monday 14th January 2019

  Late last year we published our first round of benchmarking for Apache Kafka running on our managed service. At the time, we flagged an issue that the approach we adopted did not...

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Advanced Node Replace

Thursday 3rd January 2019

Instaclustr has a number of internal tools and procedures that help us keep Cassandra clusters healthy. One of those tools allows us to replace the instance backing a Cassandra node while keeping the IP’s...

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New Apache Kafka Versions Available

Wednesday 28th November 2018

Apache Kafka 2.0.1 and 2.1.0 Now Available on Instaclustr Managed Platform Instaclustr is pleased to announce immediate general availability of Apache Kafka 2.0.1 and Apache Kafka 2.1.0 on the Instaclustr Managed Platform. These...

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Apache Kafka Benchmarks for AWS, GCP and Azure

Tuesday 27th November 2018

At Instaclustr, we are often asked for comparative benchmarking between the different cloud providers we support and the different instances sizes we offer. For our Apache Kafka managed service offering, we have recently...

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Instaclustr support for Cassandra Lucene Index

Monday 22nd October 2018

Instaclustr recently announced that we will be maintaining a new fork of the Cassandra Lucene Index plug in. This blog post provides some background on that decision, Instaclustr’s support for the Lucene Index...

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General Availability – Managed Apache Kafka

Tuesday 26th June 2018

Instaclustr announces that our Managed Apache Kafka on the Instaclustr Managed Platform has now reached General Availability with full production SLAs and security controls applied. Apache Kafka adds to Instaclustr’s existing open source...

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Open Source Use Cases In Financial Services

Sunday 25th March 2018

Financial services industries such as banking, insurance and capital management have been built on data since they first began. From ancient money lenders with clay tablets to early 20th century clerks with rooms...

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Cassandra NoSQL Data Model Design

Thursday 5th October 2017

Abstract This paper describes the process that we follow at Instaclustr to design a Cassandra data model for our customers. While not a prescriptive, formal process it does define phases and steps that...

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Instaclustr Releases Support for Scylla 1.7.2

Thursday 27th July 2017

*Please note due to extremely limited customer demand, we no longer support ScyllaDB. Please contact our Sales Team should have you have any further questions. Instaclustr is happy to announce the immediate availability...

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Instaclustr Dynamic Resizing for Apache Cassandra

Thursday 29th June 2017

Apache Cassandra is well known for its ability to scale to whatever size you could possibly need. However, the traditional “horizontal” scaling approach of adding or removing cluster nodes to change cluster capacity...

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Testing Multiple Tables with Cassandra Stress

Tuesday 16th May 2017

The cassandra-stress tool is a powerful tool for benchmarking Cassandra performance. It allows quite sophisticated specification of data and loads profiles to run against almost any table definition you can create in Cassandra....

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Cassandra’s Place in the NoSQL World

Wednesday 3rd May 2017

A question that we commonly get asked is “how does Apache Cassandra compare to NoSQL technology X?”. While the easy answer is to say “It’s just better”, the truth of course isn’t that...

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Maximising Availability with Apache Cassandra

Monday 6th March 2017

Introduction A number of recent of events have had us thinking more than usual about maximising availability with Apache Cassandra. The first of these was the recent AWS S3 outage. While this outage...

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Apache Cassandra Security

Tuesday 31st January 2017

Apache Cassandra Security has hit the news lately with a benevolent hacker attempting to warn owners of unsecured Cassandra databases about their exposure (see Apache Cassandra Security At Instaclustr, we take security...

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Instaclustr Engineering Year in Review

Thursday 15th December 2016

This year has been another massive step forward for Instaclustr Engineering. In addition to the many important new features added to our product set, working with the team you can really feel the...

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Upgrading Instametrics to Cassandra 3

Tuesday 22nd November 2016

In previous posts, we’ve described our Instametrics solution which provides the monitoring services for the close to 1,000 instances we manage. We’ve always seen this solution as an important proving ground for new technology...

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Patched Cassandra 3.7

Wednesday 19th October 2016

In the last couple of days, we made the latest Apache Cassandra releases available in production for Instaclustr Managed Cassandra. This is something we do very regularly and normally I wouldn’t be writing...

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Instaclustr Synthetic Transaction Monitoring

Monday 17th October 2016

Overview One of the challenges we are constantly tackling at Instaclustr is how to effectively monitor clusters, and particularly read and write latency, given the wide variety of use cases that customer use...

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Instaclustr APIs

Monday 19th September 2016

Instaclustr has two REST APIs that are available for our customers: A monitoring API that provides programmatic access to the same Cassandra monitoring information that is available through our management console; A provisioning...

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Encrypted EBS Support

Thursday 8th September 2016

Instaclustr has recently released support for provisioning Amazon Web Services based Cassandra clusters with encrypted EBS and encrypted backups. This support brings two big benefits to our customers: By utilising encrypted EBS (plus...

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Instaclustr Increases Open Source Commitment

Tuesday 6th September 2016

At Instaclustr we’re strong believers that open source is the future of software. The key technologies we support (Apache Cassandra and Apache Spark) are open source and our management systems are built on...

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Instaclustr Cluster Health

Friday 2nd September 2016

We’re happy to announce that our first release of the Instaclustr Health Page is now live on the Instaclustr console. Instaclustr’s Managed Service has long in included regular manual health checks of cluster...

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Deep Diving into cassandra-stress (Part 1)

Friday 19th August 2016

Overview: Cassandra Stress This is the first in a series of blog post I’m planning to create as part of my prep for my Cassandra summit talk ‘Load Testing Cassandra Applications’. cassandra-stress is...

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Instaclustr Offerings

Tuesday 16th August 2016

Overview Over the last 2 years our range of services and capabilities have grown and we’ve also refined the definition of those services to better meet the demand that we have seen from our customers....

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Cassandra and Spark for Microsoft Azure Upgrades

Tuesday 21st June 2016

Highlights Instaclustr is pleased to announce general availability of a new release of our Managed Cassandra and Spark for Azure offering. This release includes several major upgrades: Premium Storage based instance types. Capability...

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Instaclustr support for Apache Cassandra v3

Wednesday 1st June 2016

Instaclustr is happy to announce beta availability of Cassandra 3.5 through our Managed Cassandra service. Cassandra 3.x represents a major step forward for the Cassandra project with new functionality and significant performance improvements....

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Managed Cassandra versus DynamoDB

Friday 27th May 2016

How is Cassandra compared to DynamoDB? A common question we hear from potential customers is “how is Cassandra compared to DynamoDB”? We’re big fans of AWS, in fact, most of our business runs...

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Instaclustr Monitoring to Manage Cassandra Performance

Thursday 26th May 2016

Overview Instaclustr has just released a substantial upgraded monitoring capability as part our our management console application. This monitoring capability has been designed to provide you easy access to the information you need...

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Understanding Cassandra Migration

Wednesday 11th May 2016

Cassandra Migration – Many applications running today are built using relational database technology or RDBMS such as PostgresSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, or Oracle Database. Relational technology was the mainstay database for applications...

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Apache Zeppelin Preview Release

Thursday 31st March 2016

We are pumped to announce availability of our preview release of Managed Apache Zeppelin for use with our Managed Cassandra and Apache Spark offerings. Apache Zeppelin provides a notebook user interface to allow...

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Managed Apache Spark 1.6 Full Release

Thursday 31st March 2016

Our managed Apache Spark offering on Apache Cassandra now moves into full release. With the release of Apache Spark 1.6 using the Spark Cassandra Connector v 1.6.0-M1, our Spark+Cassandra offering moves out of...

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Cassandra Costs Running in the Cloud

Wednesday 23rd March 2016

At Instaclustr, our Cassandra managed services includes the underlying cloud provider charges in our standard monthly fee. We’re often asked by customers and potential for information about what these charges look like. This...

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Instaclustr: What’s New Feb 2016

Tuesday 8th March 2016

After a little bit of a slow down over the Christmas period and summer holidays here in Australia, the Instaclustr development team was back in full swing in February. Some of the key...

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Apache Spark Streaming and Cassandra

Tuesday 17th November 2015

We have just posted a step by step tutorial on our support portal on using our Managed Apache Spark and Cassandra offering to set up Spark Streaming to receive and summarise data from Apache Kafka...

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What’s New: October 2015

Thursday 5th November 2015

The last month or has seen a raft of new features helping to ensure that Instaclustr is the best service possible for our customers. Here’s a round of what we’ve released: Spark Preview...

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Apache Cassandra Synchronization

Thursday 5th November 2015

It’s all about the timing! Instaclustr has recently implemented it own NTP (Network Time Protocol) cluster to be used by the Cassandra clusters under our management environment. This is another example of how...

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Managed Apache Spark on Cassandra

Monday 2nd November 2015

Instaclustr has made available a preview release of our managed service for Apache Spark running with Cassandra. This release makes the core features of Spark available for use while we work on building...

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Cassandra on AWS EBS infrastructure | Instaclustr

Wednesday 28th October 2015

Instaclustr has updated it’s Cassandra on AWS EBS infrastructure offerings to include m4.xlarge class instances on AWS. Over 100 hours of testing and tuning has demonstrated that these nodes, using EBS provide substantial...

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Cassandra Summit 2015 Review

Saturday 17th October 2015

Cassandra Summit 2015 Review Cassandra Summit 2015 was held recently in Santa Clara, California and Instaclustr attended to present, learn and man an exhibition floor booth. The level of attendance at the summit...

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What is Managed Cassandra for Kong?

Wednesday 16th September 2015

Instaclustr makes it easy to run a production Cassandra cluster to support the Kong API management framework. What is Kong? Instaclustr has recently announced a partnership with Mashape to support users of their...

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Multi-datacenter Cassandra Made Easy

Wednesday 2nd September 2015

Native support for multiple logical or physical datacenters within a clusters is one of the key advantages of Cassandra. Instaclustr’s automated provisioning system now makes this easier than ever. Cassandra Multi Datacenter Replication...

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Blazing Fast Bare Metal Cassandra

Tuesday 25th August 2015

  Instaclustr has recently released its managed Cassandra on SoftLayer bare metal servers. Running on bare metal provides the fastest available Cassandra performance and great value for money. Instaclustr has recently brought our...

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Significant performance improvements with Cassandra 2.1

Thursday 20th August 2015

Instaclustr recently released support for Apache Cassandra 2.1 and our benchmark testing has demonstrated significant performance improvements delivered by this version of the database. Instaclustr customers simply need to log a support ticket...

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Helping you to securely deploy Cassandra

Tuesday 18th August 2015

We’re constantly striving to ensure that Instaclustr is the most secure, easy and reliable way to run Apache Cassandra. This post outlines some recent changes we have made to enforce tighter security for...

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Common Cassandra Data Modelling Traps

Monday 3rd August 2015

Part of Instaclustr’s service is helping our customers make better use of Apache Cassandra. This post outlines some of the most common issues that we see and help our customers overcome. At Instaclustr,...

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Instaclustr Supports Cassandra 2.1, DSE 4.7

Monday 6th July 2015

Instaclustr now supports the latest production-ready versions of Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise. The Apache Cassandra project recently released Cassandra 2.16 and announced that the 2.1 series was now considered ready for production use....

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Further Monitoring and Security Enhancements

Tuesday 2nd June 2015

At Instaclustr we are constantly enhancing our monitoring and security systems based on learnings from the large and varied Cassandra deployments we manage in production. We will shortly be releasing some significant improvements...

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Continuous improvement

Saturday 16th May 2015

Our engineering team operates on an agile methodology with two-week sprints that result in a new release. This allows us to regularly update our platform with new features for our customers and keep...

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100% availability or your money back

Friday 1st May 2015

Instaclustr now offers availability SLAs of up to 100% with associated service credits of up to 100% of monthly fees. We have recently reviewed our SLAs and decided that our previous SLA levels...

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Cassandra Disk Usage

Friday 24th April 2015

We’ve been having some conversations lately about Cassandra disk usage. Specifically, how full is too full on a Cassandra cluster? Our recommendation at Instaclustr is that you do not run more than 70%...

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Pragmatic Availability with Cassandra

Friday 3rd April 2015

Cassandra provides innovative and pragmatic approaches to balancing your availability needs, application functionality and infrastructure costs. As a result you can achieve higher levels of availability at a lower cost. One of the...

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The Cassandra Ecosystem

Friday 20th March 2015

Apache Cassandra provides a highly scalable and reliable data storage engine for your application. When you need tools to help you analyse or move data there is a range of powerful and innovative...

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Expanding Platform Support

Monday 16th March 2015

Ben Slater is Instaclustr’s newly appointed Chief Product Officer and he has been charged with steering our development roadmap and overseeing the engineering of our products and managing our production support team. Ben...

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Getting to know Cassandra!

Friday 20th February 2015

Ben Slater is Instaclustr’s newly appointed Chief Product Officer and he has been charged with steering our development roadmap and overseeing the engineering of our products and managing our production support team. Ben...

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