Getting started with DataStax Enterprise 6.8

This topic provides basic information and a roadmap to documentation for system administrators new to DataStax Enterprise.

Which product?

To help you choose which DataStax products best fit your requirements, see Products on the DataStax website. DataStax Enterprise (DSE) provides all the capabilities of Apache Cassandra® plus advanced functionality (detailed below).


Before diving into administration tasks, you can save a lot of time when setting up and operating DataStax Enterprise (DSE) in a production environment by learning a few basics first:

Differences between Cassandra/DSE and relational databases

Cassandra and DSE databases are much different than relational databases and use a data model based on the types of queries, not on modeling entities and relationships. DataStax highly recommends taking seven minutes to read Architecture in brief. It contains key concepts and terminology for understanding the database.

DSE OpsCenter and Lifecycle Manager

DSE OpsCenter and Lifecycle Manager automate and simplify many administrative tasks.

Learning resources

While not specific to administrators, these topics provide more database details:


The Planning and testing guide contains guidelines for capacity planning and hardware selection in production environments. Key topics include:


DSE Advanced Security provides detailed user access controls to keep applications data protected and compliant with regulatory standards like PCI, SOX, HIPAA, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Key topics include:

The DSE database includes the default role <cassandra> with password <cassandra>. This is a superuser login with full access to the database. DataStax recommends using the cassandra role only once during the initial Role Based Access Control (RBAC) setup to establish your own root account and then disable the cassandra role. See Adding a superuser login.


Important topics for optimizing the performance of the database include:


The primary tools for getting data into and out of the database are:

For other methods, see Migrating data to DataStax Enterprise.


DataStax provides the following tools to monitor clusters and view metrics:

Advanced Functionality

In addition to all the capabilities of Apache Cassandra, DataStax Enterprise offers the following capabilities:

DSE Analytics

Built on a production-certified version of Apache Spark™, with enhanced capabilities like AlwaysOn SQL for process streaming and historical data at cloud scale.

DSE Graph

DSE Graph is optimized for storing billions of items and their relationships. This enables you to identify and analyze hidden relationships between connected data and build powerful modern applications for real-time use cases: fraud detection, customer 360, social networks, IoT, and recommendation systems. The DSE Graph Quick Start is a great place to get started.

DSE Search

Provides powerful search and indexing capabilities, including support for full-text, relevancy, sub-string, and fuzzy queries over large data sets, aggregation, and geospatial matchups.

DSE OpsCenter

Provides visual management and monitoring for DataStax Enterprise, including automatic backups, reduced manual operations, automatic failover, patch release upgrades, and secure management of DSE clusters on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments that span multiple data centers.

Lifecycle Manager

A visual provisioning and monitoring tool for DSE clusters. LCM allows you to define the cluster configuration including datacenter, node topology, and security. LCM monitoring helps you troubleshoot installation, configuration, and upgrade jobs.

DSE Advanced Security

Provides fine-grained user and access controls to keep applications data protected and compliance with regulatory standards like PCI, SOX, HIPAA, and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

DSE Metrics Collector

Aggregates DSE metrics and integrates with existing monitoring solutions to facilitate problem resolution and remediation.

DSE Management Services

DSE Management Services automatically handle administration and maintenance tasks and assist with overall database cluster management.

NodeSync service

Continuous background repair that virtually eliminates manual efforts to run repair operations in a DataStax cluster.

Advanced Replication

Advanced Replication allows a single cluster to have a primary hub with multiple spokes. This allows configurable, bi-directional distributed data replication to and from source and destination clusters.

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