Netflix to Use StackStorm for IT Automation Under Cassandra

Cassandra vendor launches enterprise edition, unveils one of first big customers

Michael Vizard

September 24, 2015

2 Min Read
Netflix to Use StackStorm for IT Automation Under Cassandra
Netflix headquarters on in Los Gatos, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

StackStorm this week revealed that it has signed Netflix as one of its first major customers, while at the same time unveiling an enterprise edition of its open source event-drive IT automation framework.

During a keynote presentation at the Cassandra 2015 conference in Santa Clara, California, Christos Kalantzis, director of cloud database engineering for Netflix, described how Netflix will rely on StackStorm to initially automate the management of both its implementation of the open source Cassandra database and later on the rest of the Netflix IT environment.

Netflix currently stores all its metadata about usage and billing in the NoSQL Cassandra database. StackStorm will provide them with a more comprehensive framework for troubleshooting and providing auto remediation capabilities, said StackStorm CEO Evan Powell.

As the developer of the original framework, StackStorm provides commercial services around a framework that is designed to be a superset of multiple existing IT automation tools. As such, StackStorm provides a unified approach towards invoking multiple IT automation tools.

In the case of Netflix, Powell said, StackStorm is being used to monitor the Simple Queing Service (SQS) on Amazon Web Services where the implementation of Cassandra that Netflix uses resides. Powell said StackStorm sensors listen to SQS and issue triggers into the StackStorm internal message bus. A rules engine then listens to that message bus and does pattern matching to identify performance threshold violations. The system then checks to see if there is a tool that can be invoke to automatically remediate the problem. In cases where no solution to the problem can be found, StackStorm sends an alert to the appropriate admin.

The end result, said Powell, is not only less fatigue for the IT staff, but also a process through which IT organizations can actually gain insight into how their processes actually work.

“A lot of the IT automation systems in place today are opaque,” said Powell. “Our approach is designed to build trust over time.”

With the release of the enterprise edition, StackStorm is making available a visual automation authoring and management utility, called StackStorm Flow, as well as support for LDAP, role-based access control and integration packs that connect StackStorm to thousands of applications and systems.

In addition, StackStorm is making available a quick-start program alongside professional services that can invoke telemetry data via a private channel set up by StackStorm.

Pricing for the enterprise edition, which can be used for free for 30 days, starts at $500 per month.

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