pj123 avatar image
pj123 asked Erick Ramirez answered

Should I install cass-operator or k8ssandra to evaluate DSE?

I am planning to evaluate DataStax Enterprise for my company. Enterprise-grade support is key. We want to install to a kubernetes cluster. This will be 100% on-prem.

I found instructions to install cass-operator and I was able to do that easily. Then I stumbled on K8ssandra. I'm a bit confused now. Given what I've already stated, which path should I take?

Thank you.

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john.sanda_194109 avatar image
john.sanda_194109 answered pj123 edited

Hi @pj123

I am an engineer on the k8ssandra project. I am not in a position to answer question about DSE, but I can provide you some info about k8ssandra that may be helpful.

You can get Luna support for k8ssandra. Everything in k8ssandra is open source and one of the goals for the project is to make it community-driven.

cass-operator is a foundational component of k8ssandra; however, not all of the functionality and configuration settings in cass-operator are currently exposed in k8ssandra.

If you also want solutions for managed repairs, backup/restore, monitoring, then k8ssandra is definitely something to consider. It layers additional functionality on top of cass-operator to provide support for and for It gives you Prometheus and Grafana integration out of the box that includes prebuilt dashboards.

A lot of the future work in cass-operator will be driven by the k8ssandra project.

I hope this info is helpful.

Good luck!


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pj123 avatar image pj123 commented ·

Thanks for the insight, @john.sanda_194109

The Luna Enterprise plan appears to be what we would be looking for in a support plan.

While that does give me some comfort in exploring K8ssandra, I'm still kind of confused about the differences. For example, the DSE documentation states that "DataStax Enterprise gives customers a version of Cassandra with advanced performance, advanced security and tooling for operations and management."

Those are things my stakeholders are going to want. It puts me in an uncomfortable spot, making it look like I want to play with the cooler, open-source version that runs natively on kubernetes, while potentially sacrificing better performance, better security, and the type of traditional tooling my company is used to.

I get that you might not be in a position to answer this, but hopefully someone here is. @Erick Ramirez?

Thanks again.

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Erick Ramirez avatar image
Erick Ramirez answered

There's really no comparison. If you want to evaluate DataStax Enterprise (DSE), you can only install it using the DataStax Kubernetes operator for Cassandra (cass-operator).

K8ssandra is a ready-made platform for running Apache Cassandra in Kubernetes using the DataStax Cassandra Operator (cass-operator) under the hood but with all the tooling built-in:

  • Reaper for automated repairs
  • Medusa for backups and restores
  • Metrics Collector for monitoring with Prometheus + Grafana
  • Traefik templates for k8s cluster ingress

As John Sanda already stated in his response, the cass-operator is the main component of k8ssandra but it only allows you to deploy open-source Apache Cassandra. If you want to evaluate features and functionality only available in DSE, you cannot use k8ssandra.

I realise that you stated you want to deploy DSE in your own premises but if you haven't already seen it, consider performing your evaluation on DataStax Astra -- a cloud-native Cassandra-as-a-service. With Astra, you can quickly perform your evaluation and build a proof-of-concept without having to worry about installing and operating Cassandra.

Astra is built with the cass-operator and runs on Kubernetes. It also comes with Stargate enabled by default -- a data gateway that provides REST API, GraphQL API or JSON/Document API to a Cassandra cluster so your developers can immediately build apps.

With Astra, you can launch a cluster with just a few clicks and sample applications you can use so you can start evaluating within minutes. It's FREE to try with NO credit card required. Cheers!

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