In my continuing effort to learn all the new technologies, I wanted to use one of the NoSQL databases. Since I want to store geographical data as well as meta data for virtual world objects, I steered away from document oriented ones like ElasticSearch. That leaves ones like MondoDB or CouchDB or pure Hadoop.

The fickle finger of databases then lead to Cassandra. It was used in the Sirikata virtual world project and is scalable and clusterable and continues to be used in a lot of places. It is also available on AWS and other infrastructures so it’s a good candidate.

The two target usages for Basil development are standalone, single computer installations and in larger, production installations. So, how to easily run Cassandra on a single desktop.

Another concern of mine is how to stay up-to-date with the latest versions and sources of any package. I want an answer for ‘what will building and maintaining look like a year from now’.

I pulled the Cassandra sources and looked into building it. It requires a specific version of Java and several other packages. This looked like it was going to be a nightmare to build on general use Linux system and the dependencies would make upgrading difficult. And, like I said above, I wanted the latest and greatest and not the older versions that will be in the Ubuntu package repositories.

But wait. Looking around I found a Docker version of Cassandra. Docker containers would provide some of the isolation of the different versions four all the libraries are going to Cassandra and he would get me again tangled up in other interesting internet technologies.

Docker also provides a solution for creating simple standalone systems as well as complex, production, scalable systems. A simple Docker setup would allow someone to just run a local Cassandra or they could deploy all of the services into the cloud and have a production environment.

So, off down the rabbit hole of learning Docker and learning all of its setup and configuration options.