Explore Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra’s new features

Theo van Kraay

At Microsoft Ignite last November, we announced the general availability of Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra, an Azure service that hosts open-source Apache Cassandra clusters, with automated deployment, scaling, and management operations all built into the service. In this blog, we give a quick recap of what this service has to offer (check out the short video below, too) and share new preview features.

“Managed Cassandra is fantastic. Its optimized for performance at large scale, drastically reduced maintenance overhead while improved security posture and sustainable. Forging a great partnership with MSFT and having them on our back, our team can focus more on core business competencies”

Data Platform and Services Engineering Manager, Starbucks



Hybrid Clusters

Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra is the first and only managed service for Apache Cassandra in the cloud that allows you to add data centers to an existing self-hosted open-source Apache Cassandra cluster! This could be an on-premise cluster, a cluster in Azure, or even a cluster hosted in another cloud environment.

This allows you to perform seamless zero-downtime migrations to a managed service for Apache Cassandra in the cloud by using built-in replication capability native to Apache Cassandra. You can also use this feature to easily extend the capacity of an existing on-premise environment into the cloud. Check out this article on how to configure a hybrid cluster for more information.

Azure Benefits

The service deploys and maintains pure open-source Apache Cassandra clusters on Azure virtual machine scale sets. You still get to keep everything you love about Apache Cassandra, but as a first party Azure service, we provide additional management operations and a financially backed SLA for availability. We have you covered on security too, with enterprise grade principles baked in.

By default, the service is also provisioned using best practice specifications and guidelines for running Apache Cassandra on Azure. You can scale up and scale down Cassandra nodes at the touch of a button. Metrics, Cassandra logs, and audit logs are provided out-of-the-box in Azure Monitor.

More features introduced since GA

  1. Terraform Support – No open-source database service would be complete without Terraform support! Check out the sample here.
  2. Live Migration tools – We’ve released open-source tools to achieve live migration where hybrid cluster setup is not possible, including a dual-write proxy. Check out the guide here.
  3. LDAP Authentication (Preview) – we’ve released support for handling authentication to your managed instance Cassandra clusters using LDAP. Take a look at our documentation here for how to set this up.
  4. Apache Cassandra 4.0 (Preview) – the latest version of Apache Cassandra is out! Check out the important changes here. We’ve released a preview version, you can specify Cassandra 4.0 when deploying clusters using Azure CLI – see step 5 in our documentation here.
  5. DBA Commands (Preview) – although we maintain the health of the cluster for you, there may be scenarios in which you need closer control and may want to override default configurations. We’ve released support for running nodetool and sstable commands. Find out more here.
  6. Dynatrace Metrics (Preview) – we’ve partnered with Dynatrace who have created an extension for integration with their PaaS platform. Check out our blog here for more information on how to set this up.

Getting started


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