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From Paul Prescod <>
Subject Re: Human readable Cassandra limitations
Date Mon, 10 May 2010 18:22:32 GMT
This is a very, very big topic. For the most part, the issues are
covered in the various SQL versus NoSQL debates all over the Internet.
For example:

 * Cassandra and its NoSQL siblings have no concept of an in-database "join"

 * Cassandra and its NoSQL siblings do not allow you to update
multiple "tables" in a single transactions

 * Cassandra's API is specific to it, and not portable to any other data store

 * Cassandra currently has simplistic facilities to deal with various
kinds of conflicting write.

 * Cassandra is strongly optimized for multiple machine distributions,
whereas relational databases tend to be optimized for a single
powerful machine.

 * Cassandra and its siblings are weak at ad hoc queries on tables
that you did not think to index in advance

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 11:06 AM, Peter Hsu <> wrote:
> I've seen a lot of threads and posts about why Cassandra is great.  I'm fairly sold
on the features, and the few big deployments on Cassandra give it a lot of credibility.
> However, I don't believe in magic bullets, so I really want to understand the potential
downsides of Cassandra.  Right now, I don't really have a clue as to what Cassandra is bad
at.  I took a look at which is helpful,
but doesn't characterize its weaknesses in ways that I can really comprehend until I've actually
used Cassandra and understand some of the internals.  It seems that the community would benefit
from being able to answer some of these questions in terms of real world use cases.
> My main questions:
>  * Are there designs in which a SQL database out-performs or out-scales Cassandra?
>  * Is there a pros vs cons page of Cassandra against an open source SQL database (MySQL
or Postgres)?
> I do plan on attending the training session next Friday in Palo Alto, but it'd be great
if I had some more food for thought before I attend.

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