Cassandra For Developers


This course will introduce Cassandra –  a popular NoSQL database.  It will cover Cassandra principles, architecture and data model.


How to data model in Cassandra.  Use APIs to interact with C*

What You Will Learn

  • Cassandra architecture & internals
  • CQL (Cassandra Query Language)
  • Data modeling in CQL
  • Using APIs to interact with Cassandra


3 days


Developers / Data architects


  • comfortable with Java programming language
  • comfortable in Linux environment (navigating command line, running commands)

Lab environment

A working Cassandra environment will be provided for students.  Students would need a SSH client and a browser to access the cluster.

Zero Install: There is no need to install Cassandra on students’ machines!

Detailed Outline

Introduction to Big Data / NoSQL

    • NoSQL overview
    • CAP theorem
    • When is NoSQL appropriate
    • Columnar storage
    • NoSQL ecosystem

Cassandra Basics

    • Design and architecture
    • Cassandra nodes, clusters, datacenters
    • Keyspaces, tables, rows and columns
    • Partitioning, replication, tokens
    • Quorum and consistency levels
    • Labs : installing Cassandra, interacting with Cassandra using CQLSH

Data Modeling – part 1

    • introduction to CQL
    • CQL Datatypes
    • creating keyspaces & tables
    • Choosing columns and types
    • Choosing primary keys
    • Data layout for rows and columns
    • Time to live (TTL)
    • Querying with CQL
    • CQL updates
    • Collections (list / map / set)
    • Labs : various data modeling exercises using CQL ; experimenting with queries and supported data types

Data Modeling – part 2

    • Creating and using secondary indexes
    • composite keys (partition keys and clustering keys)
    • Time series data
    • Best practices for time series data
    • Counters
    • Lightweight transactions (LWT)
    • Labs : creating and using indexes;  modeling time series data

Data Modeling Labs  : Group design session

    • multiple use cases from various domains are presented
    • students work in groups to come up designs and models
    • discuss various designs, analyze decisions
    • Lab : implement one of the scenario

Cassandra drivers

    • Introduction to Java driver
    • CRUD (Create / Read / Update, Delete) operations using Java client
    • Asynchronous queries
    • Labs : using Java API for Cassandra

Cassandra Internals

    • understand Cassandra design under the hood
    • sstables, memtables, commit log
    • read path / write path
    • caching
    • vnodes


    • Hardware selection
    • Cassandra distributions
    • Cassandra best practices (compaction, garbage collection,)
    • troubleshooting tools and tips
    • Lab : students install Cassandra, run benchmarks

Bonus Lab (time permitting)

    • Implement a music service like Pandora / Spotify on Cassandra