WHY INSTACLUSTR?

Simply put…..our customers elect to focus on innovating, building their app and engaging with their customers, not running infrastructure.

A fully managed service

Leave the management, monitoring and maintenance of Apache Cassandra and the underlying infrastructure to the experts.

Instaclustr provides a fully managed service. Our managed Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise solutions power mission-critical, highly available applications for our customers.

Our customers use our service because they:

  • want to focus development resources and efforts on their app and core business,
  • need to get it right the first time by using experts in Cassandra,
  • have an existing investment in Cassandra that need some help to stabilise their environment,
  • are looking to adopt and use Cassandra, but haven’t got time to navigate the new tech curve.

Instaclustr’s managed service helps customers with all of these problems by taking the infrastructure load off your shoulders.

100% UPTIME SLA

Find out more about our 100% uptime guarantee.

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Managed and in the cloud

Cloud is a natural fit for technologies like Cassandra that scale horizontally. Instaclustr lets you easily host nodes in multiple regions with flexible pricing models.  Combine this with Cassandra’s ability to scale applications rapidly, means that companies can tightly control the costs of managing their production infrastructure through a predictable monthly spend.

We provide an all inclusive service that includes both the price of our service and the underlying hardware and hosting fees.

100% UPTIME GUARANTEED

Instaclustr offers availability SLAs of up to 100% uptime with associated service credits of up to 100% of monthly fees.

This is an industry-leading offering which reflects:

  • Our confidence in Cassandra as a rock-solid platform for mission critical applications.
  • Our understanding that for many customers the choice of Cassandra and Instaclustr means that they are expecting continuous availability, this is our our desire to respect the confidence you place in us.
  • Our expertise, based on our 100s of thousands of node-hours of experience running Cassandra and in the management systems that Instaclustr has in place to ensure availability of your Cassandra service.

It is our availability architecture in conjunction with Cassandra’s continuous availability capability that allows us to offer a 100% uptime SLA. 

Our tiered SLA model is only possible because of Cassandra’s inherent scalability, reliability and manageability and the fact that, unlike most other database systems, Cassandra is actually more manageable and reliable as the cluster scales out.

Instaclustr builds on the inherent availability features of Cassandra and the underlying cloud providers in order to provide a highly available Cassandra service that meets and exceeds the service standards. The key features of this architecture are summarised below.

CONTINUOUS AVAILABILITY ARCHITECTURE

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DISTRIBUTED CLUSTER NODES

Cassandra allows distribution of cluster servers across cloud provider failure zones. Cassandra’s rack concept is designed to group servers within a cluster where the likelihood of a failure is correlated and to provide ongoing availability despite the failure of a group of servers.

Instaclustr’s architecture maps Cassandra’s rack concept to AWS’s availability zone and Azure’s fault domain concept which designate groups of servers with a correlated likelihood of failure. The servers in a cluster are then distributed equally across racks. This means that the deployed cluster architecture will be optimally aligned with the cloud provider’s likely availability.

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RESILIENT TO FAILURE

Cassandra, by design, is resilient to failure of multiple nodes. Additionally, if your environment is configured correctly failure of multiple nodes can still provide 100% availability. With a consistency level of one, Cassandra will still be able to read and write data with the failure of up to two complete rack’s worth of servers.

Instaclustr’s architecture and recommended customer configuration distributes at least one copy of each piece of data in each rack.  Once nodes are restored, Cassandra will automatically bring the servers in sync with any missed writes.

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ONLINE REPLACEMENT

Cassandra’s architecture allows nodes to be replaced within a cluster with no interruption to the service provided by the cluster. Instaclustr’s automated provisioning system makes these operations easy and highly reliable.  This also applies for the addition of new nodes to support rapid scaling.

Clusters managed by Instaclustr can therefore be scaled out or have faulty nodes replaced (as is often required in a cloud environment) in short time frames with very little risk.

Non Dependence

ZERO RELIANCE FOR RUNTIME

Customer nodes are not reliant on Instaclustr software for runtime services. While Instaclustr’s own software is engineered and tested to high standards,we recognise that your application should not depend on our software to continue to run.

At Instaclustr we have engineered our system to ensure there are no runtime dependencies between a customer’s Cassandra service being available and Instaclustr’s management and provisioning systems operating.

TESTIMONIALS

“Instaclustr has been instrumental in helping us manage, scale, and optimize our Cassandra deployment, allowing us to focus on delivering a great product to our customers.”

Jason Wu

Chief Technology Officer, AdStage

“Instaclustr provided us with a method for getting underway quickly with Cassandra and also delivered the support and expertise necessary to help us make our database as efficient as possible.”

Jonathan Micklos

CTO, Fling

“Instaclustr has enabled us to get underway quickly, the support team have been there from the beginning helping us to get it right the first time with our schema and architecture.” 

Richard Wilson

Co-Founder, Maths Pathway

CORE FEATURES

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24/7/365 EXPERT SUPPORT

Customer support delivered by our specialist on-call support engineers with thousands of hours DevOps experience with Apache Cassandra and complementary technologies.

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MONITORING & ALERTING

Node monitoring and alerting for events of interest including performance and latency, disk capacity and node responsiveness. Customized alerting is also possible through our monitoring architecture.

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ZERO OUTAGE MIGRATIONS

We work with you as part of our service to migrate your data from an existing self-managed environment to the Instaclustr environment with zero outage and continued availability throughout the process.

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BACKUPS & SNAPSHOTS

We schedule off-node backups of all data on a daily basis and these are available for restoration in the event of a significant disaster in your cluster. Additionally, Cassandra automatically takes snapshots of your data when you perform certain high-risk operations (such as truncations) and we can assist with restoration where necessary to retrieve your data.

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UPDATES & PATCH MANAGEMENT

Our high-availability architecture ensures continuous operations through node upgrades including database version upgrades.   We also provide continued monitoring and testing of for patch and security updates and we apply these to your nodes as required. All with zero downtime.

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HEALTH CHECKS & REPAIRS

We regularly assess the health of your cluster both through our automated systems and manual checks. Where we detect issues we either undertake repairs, often with our automated operations tooling, or provide advice for you to address them where they relate to your application’s usage of Cassandra.

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APPLICATION DASHBOARD

Customised dashboard with access to DataStax OpsCenter to monitor the health of your nodes and clusters. We also provide an interface for billing and overall management of your Instaclustr services.

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DEDICATED SUPPORT PORTAL

The Instaclustr Support Portal provides a separate and dedicated interface for submitting and tracking support requests and also accessing all of our support and user documentation.   Our customers can also access our Instaclustr Status Page through this portal providing indications of incidents or planned outages.

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SPEED SPEED SPEED

We have tuned our nodes to perfection and you can expect sub-10ms latency where the application is hosted in the same region as the Cassandra cluster. Tuning and the performance characteristics of Cassandra enable us to achieve this amazing performance.

INSTACLUSTR FAQs

What does Instaclustr do?

Instaclustr’s passion is to provide as positive and painless experience with Cassandra for our customers. To do this, we provide a fully managed Cassandra-as-a-Service offering that hosts and manages your Cassandra cluster in one of our supported cloud providers for a monthly fee. Using Instaclustr lets you focus your engineering resources on developing your applications and decreasing your time to market.

What cloud providers are supported?

Instaclustr supports the fully managed service on Amazon Web Services™ (all regions) and is in private Beta for Microsoft Azure™ in all regions.

What deployment models are supported?

Instaclustr can support fully cloud and hybrid deployment models on single or multiple cloud providers for customers who have very high availability requirements. Clients can have their clusters fully hosted on the cloud, or can maintain part of their infrastructure on premises, and then have additional nodes hosted in the cloud for disaster recovery or peak load management.

How are my instances hosted on the providers?

This varies by provider, but on AWS each cluster is hosted in its own Virtual Private Network (VPC) to ensure the security of the data housed on the instance.

What does the service include?

The fully managed service provided by Instaclustr includes:

  • Establishment of the nodes
  • Performance monitoring and tuning
  • High availability configurations of clusters
  • Security patching and monitoring
  • Firewall access rules to mediate access to the cluster
  • Zero downtime upgrades
  • DataStax Enterprise™
  • 24 x 7 support for production plans through our dedicated help-desk and support team
  • Daily incremental snapshot off-node backups
  • On-demand plans are charged to the nearest hour of use
What instance types are supported?

Instaclustr supports a variety of instance types on the cloud providers that provide options for a number of different use cases to balance compute power and latency with available storage depending on requirements. Talk to an Instaclustr engineer today to help define the best architecture for your business.

How do I interact with the nodes?

Instaclustr supports a number of connectivity models depending on requirements and cloud provider. Options include:

  • Direct connect between you data centre and the cloud provider
  • Connectivity provided by public IP addresses protected by firewall rules to mediate access
  • Point to point VPN connectivity

Instaclustr supports the full range of Cassandra drivers that enable connectivity with the cluster, including the DataStax drivers. Instaclustr automatically generates client code for Java, Python and C# to connect to your cluster. Instaclustr also support client based certificate authentication for additional security.

What security features does Instaclustr use?

Instaclustr hosts client nodes in a dedicated VPC to segregate traffic on the cluster from the public. Connectivity to your cluster is encrypted end to end through client based certificates and in-built Cassandra encryption protocols. On disk encryption is also available through the security features in DataStax Enterprise™ and Instaclustr partners with companies such as www.vormetric.com to provide end to end encryption solutions. Access to your cluster is fully audited, and audit logs are available for review by you at any time. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has partnered with Instaclustr to provide security assurance over the architecture and performs regular penetration testing to ensure that the security of our systems remains at a high standard.

What pricing models do you support?

We support a number of pricing models, depending on the available models from the cloud provider. We provide on-demand pricing for clusters which are charged to the nearest hour of use, but significant savings can be realised by pre-purchasing annual plans which is a suitable plan for production environments.

What does your pricing include?

Our pricing is all-inclusive of hosting costs and our service fee. The fee includes:

  • Hosting costs for the cloud provider
  • Our 24×7 supported service including our standard management services
  • Our pricing can also include DataStax™ licensing costs

Pricing is presented as a monthly fee on a per node per month basis. Talk to our sales team to discuss your requirements and we can build a price that works for you.

What are my availability options?

Instaclustr supports node deployment across multiple datacentres, multiple cloud provider regions and even multiple cloud providers which gives customers a great range of options to make sure that Cassandra’s always-on architecture is leveraged to maximum effect. Note that Instaclustr’s own infrastructure to manage the customers’ clusters is designed to have zero impact on customers’ clusters in the event of failure.

What sort of latency can I expect?

This is dependent on where your application sits and which cloud region you want to leverage. You should expect sub-10ms latency where the application is hosted in the same region as the Cassandra cluster.

Do you provide an evaluation period?

We provide this on a case by case basis. Please contact our sales team if you want to discuss options to evaluate our service and technology. We are also shortly launching a Developer offering that will provide a low cost Cassandra cluster for those evaluating Cassandra as a technology and startups with limited budgets.

What metrics can I view if I sign up to Instaclustr?

All customers of Instaclustr get access to DataStax Ops Centre™ as an interface to access various performance metrics.

Want to know more about Instaclustr?

If we didn’t answer all of your questions, feel free to drop us a line anytime.

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