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Cassandra Summit 2014 – Summary

Wow, what a week it was. Seven days later and our heads are still spinning. The Cassandra Summit officially ran over the 10th and the 11th of September, but for the Instaclustr team it started a lot earlier with us all flying into San Francisco from Canberra, Australia over the weekend.

We had a healthy serve of meetings with customers, journalists and the great team at DataStax combined with the launching of our new website, which all made for a busy start to the week.

Tuesday evening was the Partners cocktails where we met some of the other companies all working within the Cassandra and DataStax ecosystem.

Wednesday was training day for the conference and while unfortunately I wasn’t able to duck into any of the sessions, by all accounts everyone really benefited from the broad range of topics offered. Big thanks again to DataStax for running the training day.

Wednesday evening kicked off with the welcome event and we were in the sponsors hall at the Instaclustr booth. We where overwhelmed and delighted with the volume of people who came to talk to us and it was an absolute pleasure to meet everyone and talk about how we can help them out with their Cassandra deployments.

Thursday morning I was up at 4:00AM thanks to jet-lag and pre-conference nerves. So I decided now would be a good time to write my lightning talk. 8:00AM rolled around and we registered, breakfasted and got ready for the keynotes.

Billy delivered an excellent keynote with Jeff Ludwig from Sony and a successful live demo with Yi Li. It’s amazing seeing how far the Cassandra community has come in a year from the last summit.

Jonathan Ellis then delivered the technical keynote hi-lighting the features of the (very) freshly released 2.1 release of Cassandra which brings a raft of performance improvements and improvements to CQL.

After the first tracks after the Keynote talks, Adam Zegelin our VP of Engineering gave Instaclustr’s first technical talk on doing crazy things with NAT punch through and service discovery across multiple datacentres.

Back at the booth we spent most of our time talking with attendees and getting to know the community. Then in the afternoon I gave my talk on bootstrapping from backups, a novel method for reducing the load on a cluster when new nodes join.

Afterwards we managed to catch a few later tracks and then I was up for giving my lightning talk with some other great presenters including Patricia Gorla, Brian Lynch and Andy Cobley amongst others.

After the lightning talks it was on to the pub crawl which was a ton of fun, but probably deserves to live on in the memories of the participants rather than being immortalised in this blog.