History of Cassandra
Cassandra originated at Facebook in 2007 to solve that company’s inbox search problem, in which they had to deal with large volumes of data in a way that was difficult to scale with traditional methods. Specifically, the team had requirements to handle huge volumes of data in the form of message copies, reverse indices of messages, and many random reads and many simultaneous random writes.
The team was led by Jeff Hammerbacher, with Avinash Lakshman, Karthik Ranganathan and Facebook engineer on the Search Team Prashant Malik as key engineers.
The code was released as an open source Google Code project in July 2008. During its tenure as a Google Code project in 2008, the code was updateable only by Facebook engineers, and little community was built around it as a result. So in March 2009 it was moved to an Apache Incubator project, and on February 17, 2010 it was voted into a top-level project.
The Name – Cassandra
I’m a little surprised how often people ask me where the database got its name. It’s not the first thing I think of when I hear about a project. But it is interesting, and in the case of this database, it’s felicitously meaningful. In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of
Troy. Cassandra was so beautiful that the god Apollo gave her the ability to see the future. But when she refused his amorous advances, he cursed her such that she would still be able to accurately predict everything that would happen—but no one would believe her. Cassandra foresaw the destruction of her city of Troy, but was powerless to stop it. The Cassandra distributed database is named for her. I speculate that it is also named