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Cassandra focuses on stability with the latest update.

Apache Cassandra 4.1 will be made available next week. The update comes more than a year after the 4.0 release. Apache Cassandra 4.1 promises pluggable schema management and new guardrails to help ops professionals keep devs in line.

Apache Cassandra 4.1

Back in July 2021, the popular NoSQL database saw its first significant update in almost six years with the release of 4.0, which emphasized consistency, speed, and reliability.

Apache Cassandra 4.1 is “the next natural step”, according to Mick Semb Wever, chairman of the Apache Cassandra PMC, who spoke to The Register. “We’re looking at who our users are, and what the major concerns are.”

“Often, it’s deployed in situations in companies and platforms where there are so many developers involved that DevOps kind of breaks”, Semb Wever explained, referring to the software.

“The feedback we get from ops teams is they couldn’t get anything else to work at this scale, but that comes with a whole new set of problems and so we’ve been addressing them and trying to make it easier for operators, which in turn is about reducing cost, and reducing risk.”

Semb Wever added that the new list of guardrails includes whether developers want to use secondary indexes or how many secondary indexes they want to use on a table. “It could be warnings when certain features are used, or it could deny their use or limit the extent of their use.”

New features

Another area on which Apache Cassandra’s developers have focused is the downstream ecosystem of firms that provides support and expands upon the open-source system. DataStax is one of them. Semb Wever works for the company as a solution architect.

New capabilities in Apache Cassandra 4.1 include pluggable persistent memory providers through Memtable API and Pluggable external schema manager services. According to Semb Wever, pluggable storage has been “called for for a long time”.

“We know that different people will use different storage engines”, he said, adding that helping developers plug in their own storage engines could cut back storage on disks and reduce query times.