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 for large customers to run Instaclustr Managed Cassandra for Azure in your own Azure account.
  • Azure Resource Manager provisioning including support for 3 fault-domains per region.

Premium Storage

Several months ago, we started offering EBS (Elastic Block Storage) based instance types on Amazon Web Services. Compared to our previous instance-based storage offerings, these instance types offer improved price/performance for most use cases, particularly due to the ability to choose a processor to disk ratio that suits your use case. We have seen great take up of these instance types with nearly all our customers now run

With increased demand for our services on Azure, we have now upgraded our Azure offering to use Azure Premium Storage and premium storage optimised instances. By moving away from instance-based (temporary or ephemeral) storage these instances offer significant price/performance improvements by allowing you to choose the ratio of storage size to CPU and memory that meets your needs. As well as the price-performance advantage, these instance types offer a reliability advantage as instance storage can be lost due to a restart and then require the data on the node to be rebuilt from other nodes in the cluster.

The instances sizes we are offering on Azure are:

  • Tiny: a DS2_v2 instance with 256GB of storage (two P10 premium storage disks RAIDed together)
  • Small: a DS12_v2 instance with 512GB of storage (a single P20 premium storage disk)
  • Balanced: a DS12_v2 instance with 1024GB of storage (a single P30 premium storage disk)
  • Bulk Storage: a DS12_v2 instance with 2048GB of storage (two P30 premium storage disks RAIDed together)

Pricing starts at $255 per month on demand inclusive of all infrastructure costs and management fees.

The DS12_v2 instance has 4 cores and 28GB of RAM, the DS2_v2 has 2 cores and 7GB of memory. For full pricing on these instance types, please log in to the Instaclustr console. We expect these instance types will fit most use cases but if you believe you have a requirement outside these standard sizes or would like assistance with sizing your requirement, please contact sales@instaclustr.com and we will be happy to help.

Run in Your Own Azure Account

For larger customers (9+ nodes and minimum 6 month commitment), we are able to offer the Instaclustr managed service running in your own Azure account. Under this arrangement, you are responsible for all Azure costs and Instaclustr charges a monthly management fee. Running in your own account requires some initial manual setup but, once appropriate access is set up, runs through our standard automated provisioning and management system. Contact sales@instaclustr.com if you are interested in further exploring this option.

Azure Resource Manager provisioning

As part of this release, we have also switched to using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) to provision clusters. While this is largely behind the scenes, it does mean we will be able to more easily take advantage of new features as Microsoft releases them and provide a few immediate, visible benefits:

  • Allow us to provision clusters across with 3 Azure fault domains which are mapped to Cassandra racks and thus can provide replication factor 2 with full quorum availability in the event of the failure of a single fault domain.
  • We have observed improved performance in some scenarios with ARM provisioned instances vs classic provisioning.
  • New clusters now provision approximately 3x faster as provisioning operations can occur in parallel.
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