Astra DB FAQs

Frequently asked questions about DataStax Astra DB.

What tools does Astra DB include?

  • Astra DB REST API: Use the Astra DB REST API to create an authorization token and begin interacting with your database.

  • CQLSH: Each Astra DB database includes an integrated CQL shell for interactive Cassandra Query Language (CQL) commands. Use CQLSH to create tables, insert data, and modify data in your keyspace.

  • DataStax Bulk Loader: Use DataStax Bulk Loader (dsbulk) to load and unload data into your Astra DB database. You can load data from a variety of sources and unload data from DSE or DDAC databases for transfer, use, or storage of data.

  • Metrics dashboards: Use the integrated metrics dashboards to view health metrics that include information regarding latency and throughput to the database. These metrics provide insights into the performance of the database and how workloads are distributed.

How is Astra DB different from DSE?

While you can run DataStax Enterprise (DSE) both on premises and in the cloud, Astra DB allows you to create databases in minutes, with reduced complexity, fewer operational concerns, and an approachable entry point for developing your applications. Astra DB is a true database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering that provides simplified cluster management with flexible pricing. Also, DSE includes Advanced Workloads (DSE Search, Analytics, and Graph), which are not available in Astra DB.

Which version of Apache Cassandra™ is compatible with Astra DB?

Apache Cassandra version 3.11 is compatible with Astra DB databases.

Which cloud vendors does Astra DB support?

Astra DB supports creating databases on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.

How do I connect to Astra DB databases?

Options Description

I don’t want to create a schema. Just let me get started.

Use schemaless JSON Documents with the Document API.

I want to start using my database now with APIs.

Use the REST API or GraphQL API to begin interacting with your database.

I have an application and want to use the DataStax drivers.

Initialize one of the DataStax drivers to manage database connections for your application.

I know CQL and want to connect quickly to use my database.

Use the integrated CQL shell or the standalone CQLSH tool to interact with your database using CQL.

Which DataStax drivers work with Astra DB?

Each of the supported DSE and Apache Cassandra drivers is compatible. Choose the DataStax driver for your preferred language and configure it to connect to your Astra DB database. See Connecting to Astra DB databases using DataStax drivers.

How do I manage billing for Astra DB?

Astra DB handles billing through an integration with Stripe, and displays all related billing information on the Billing Summary page. Enter a credit card number and associated billing information to begin creating Astra DB databases. See Billing for more information.

What happens when my monthly credit runs out?

You will be prompted to add a credit card when your credit limit is running low. You’ll receive this notification by email and in the Astra DB console.

If your application uses all $25 in credit, the database will be temporarily paused until you add a credit card to re-start the database. Alternatively, you can wait until the next month for the $25 credits to reload.

Unused credits do not rollover. A $25 credit is added to your organization on the 1st of every month.

View your credit balance in the Dashboard:

Credit dashboard

Where do I find the Database ID and Organization ID?

While logged in to Astra, view the URL:

astra.datastax.com/{organization_id}

Navigate to your database dashboard:

astra.datastax.com/org/{organization_id}/database/{database_id}

How do I navigate to a CQL shell?

Select your current database on the left panel. Navigate to the CQL console tab.

CQL shell

Here, you can run CQL commands. These are a few to test out

  • Use <keyspace_name>; navigates to your keyspace

  • Desc tables; describes the tables within your current keyspaces

  • Select * from <table_name> limit 10; selects all columns from table, 10 rows

I am trying to create a keyspace in the CQL shell, and I am running into an error. How do I fix this?

Keyspaces need to be created in the Astra DB console. Navigate to the Dashboard overview and select Add Keyspace.

Add keyspace

How do I delete a keyspace?

We do not allow users to delete the last keyspace to avoid accidental deletion of data. This is the error you will run into in the CQL shell:

token@cqlsh> drop keyspace test_db;
Unauthorized: Error from server: code=2100 [Unauthorized] message="Missing correct permission on test_db."

To avoid any storage costs associated with the keyspace, you can drop tables from the keyspace by running:

drop table <keyspace_name>

Should I use materialized views or Storage Attached Indexing?

Materialized views are not available yet on Astra Serverless.

Storage Attached Indexing is a great feature of our Astra Serverless! Storage-Attached Indexing (SAI) is a highly-scalable, globally-distributed index for Apache Cassandra® that is available for DataStax Astra and DataStax Enterprise (DSE) databases.

Explore this deep dive on Storage Attached Indexing.

How can I fix a “Missing Correct Permission Error”?

A permission error occurs for two reasons.

The first reason would be that Astra places certain limitations on the user with guardrails and limits.

The second reason is that you don’t have the appropriate permissions on your account. Learn more information about user permissions.

token@cqlsh> select * from test_db.data
Unauthorized: Error from server: code=2100 [Unauthorized] message="No SELECT permission on <table test_db.data>"

I created my table in the Astra DB console. Now, when I run a select statement I get an error. What do I do?

This is the error: Invalid Request: Error from server: code=2200 [Invalid query] message="table {table_name} does not exist"

When you upload a table through the Astra DB console, any table name, keyspace name, or column name with case-sensitive characters can be accessed by using double quotes.

For example, see the select statement below:

token@cqlsh:test> desc tables;
token@cqlsh:test> select * from "Case_Sensitive";

I need help with the Workshop Project. Where do I go for help?

Check the Youtube description for the Workshop you attended. Use the Discord group or the Youtube comments to ask questions live.

Additional links:

Where can I find Astra DB project tutorials?

You can find sample projects in our Sample App Gallery located on the left hand side of your Astra dashboard or the Github Repository.

Sample App Gallery

Additionally, you can follow along to video tutorials on our DataStax Developers Youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/DataStaxDevs

How do I open a support ticket?

In the left hand side of the Astra console, select Get support.

A slide out tab for Health Center will appear on the right hand side of the screen. In the bottom right hand corner, select Create request.

Select Submit Ticket in the top right corner.

Can I change the keyspace name?

No, you can’t alter the keyspace name. You can create an entire new keyspace with a different name.

What if my CSV file is too large for the Data Loader?

If the file is over 40 MB, you can upload data with our DSBulk Loader. For more, see how to get started with DSBulk Loader.

Can I use cfstats or nodetool?

No, Astra is a zero-operations database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering. Some operational Cassandra tools are not relevant. We offer access to a limited set of database metrics. You can view them in the Health tab in the Astra DB console.

Dashboard

For more, see the Astra DB guardrails.

Can I use strict security settings, such as an adblocker, with Astra DB?

If you are using strict security settings in your web browser, you might not see everything in the Astra DB console, such as messages and certainly functionalities that simplify your experience.

Where can I find help?

Use this documentation to get answers about what your database is capable of, or for guided information like connecting to your databases.

Practice using the Astra DB database with our examples.

To send us feedback or get additional help, use the chat feature in the Astra DB console.

Serverless database FAQs

Which cloud regions are currently available for serverless databases?

Astra DB supports single-region deployments only. The available serverless regions vary based on the selected cloud provider and more are added over time. Within a region, data is replicated across three availability zones to ensure high availability.

To discuss region needs, use the chat icon in the Astra DB console to talk with DataStax for guidance.

Is VPC peering possible for serverless databases?

VPC peering is not supported for serverless databases at this time.

How is pricing calculated for serverless databases?

Pricing for DataStax Astra serverless databases is based on units of measure, cloud provider, and region. See Pricing for more information.

How do I create a token?

  1. Select your Organization settings.

  2. Navigate to Token management.

  3. Select a role.

  4. Create a token.

How do I know which role to choose for my token?

Default and custom roles allow admins to manage unique permissions for users based on your organization and database requirements.

For more, see User permissions.

Where can I find the Client ID, Client Secret, and Token?

After generating a token, you can find the Client ID, Client Secret, and Token.

You can download the CSV only when you generate the token. Make sure to download the CSV and save it. Store these credentials in a secure location.

Token

What values do I pass to username and password when connecting to Astra Drivers?

If it is suggested to pass the username and password in the connect documents, use the Client ID for the username and the Client Secret for the password:

credentials: {
     username: "<CLIENT ID>",
     password: "<CLIENT SECRET>",
   }

Classic database FAQs

Which cloud regions are currently available for serverless databases?

Astra DB supports single-region deployments only. The available classic regions vary based on the selected cloud provider and more are added over time. Within a region, data is replicated across three availability zones to ensure high availability.

To discuss region needs, use the chat icon in the Astra DB console to talk with DataStax for guidance.

Is VPC peering possible for classic databases?

VPC peering is available on only Classic C- and D-tier Astra DB databases. For more, see AWS VPC peering, GCP VPC peering, and connect-with-azure-vpc-peering.adoc[Azure].

How is pricing calculated for classic databases?

Pricing for DataStax Astra classic databases is based on plan, units of measure, cloud provider, and region. See Pricing for more information.