• Technical
Instaclustr Engineering & Support Team 2015 Review

2015 was a huge year for Instaclustr from just about every perspective – we grew from something like 50 nodes under management to over 500, from low double digit customers to hundreds now in production and our team grew from 5 engineers to nearing on 30.

Of course, this kind of growth has required (and enabled) some big improvements in our capability in terms of our product and support capability. Some of the key new product features we introduced in the last year include:

  • Extended platform support from AWS to include Microsoft Azure, IBM SoftLayer and Heroku.
  • Introduced automatic provisioning of multi-datacenter clusters and clusters with SSL and password auth enabled.
  • Added Apache Spark to our offerings, enabling you to run Spark in the same environment as your Cassandra cluster.
  • Developed our EBS-based AWS offering, providing significant price-performance improvements for many use cases.
  • Implemented a new monitoring system based on Riemann, Cassandra and Spark enabling us to manage the drastically increased scale under management and providing the platform for the improved monitoring capability you are starting to see in our console.
  • Released APIs for monitoring and provisioning.

From a customer support point of view, we grew from 2-part time staff to a team of 10 staff participating in our on-call roster. On-boarding these staff while maintaining our exceptional levels of customers services has required significant effort in formalising procedures and capturing knowledge of our existing experts.

We now have an extensive library of internal support procedures and well-managed processes in managing the daily flow of tickets. Our support team dealt with over 1,000 customer tickets and countless monitoring alerts (that customers never see but help us keep your cluster running smoothly).

We’re expecting 2016 will be another huge year. Of course, we have some plans that we will keep under wraps until they are ready for release, but some of the key things you can expect to see include:

  • Major enhancements in the monitoring capability of our console.
  • Support for IBM Bluemix.
  • Multiple users with role-based access control managed through our dashboard.
  • Cassandra 2.2 in full support (out of beta very shortly) and Cassandra 3.0 support later in the year.
  • More tools for understanding the health of your cluster and actions you can take to improve it.
  • Extending management and provisioning of additional open source components including Apache Kafka, Apache Zeppelin and Apache Solr.

From a support point of view, our main aim for 2016 is to keep the same high levels support we’re currently very proud of as we continue to grow our customer base. We know that responsive, knowledgeable support is vital to our customers and we will be absolutely focused on continuing to provide this as we grow. One key improvement you will see shortly is a revamped support portal.