12 Nov REDtone Empowers Smart Citizen Application with DataStax Enterprise
This post is one in a series of quick-hit interviews with companies using Apache Cassandra™ and/or DataStax Enterprise (DSE) for key parts of their business. For this interview, we talked with Shariq Haseeb from REDtone.
DataStax: Hi Shariq, many thanks for the opportunity of this interview. Could you please tell us a bit about the Internet of Things (IoT) project you developed, what exactly you offer and your role there?
REDtone: Hi. Thanks for getting in touch with us about our project. We have developed an IoT middleware around the DataStax Enterprise (DSE) infrastructure to allow data communication between connected devices and people. Our middleware has the APIs to interface with a wide variety of commercial sensors for applications such as smart parking, waste management, air quality monitoring, etc. We have also developed citizen engagement application to gather data from the sensors that are built into the smart phones.
DataStax: What makes your platform successful, what differentiates you to other similar applications? You have a portal, a mobile application and also offer services to Governments, correct?
REDtone: A unique component of our platform is that we offer communication interface to virtually any sensor. Many times it is difficult to modify the sensors to support a particular protocol because of the resource limitation. Our platform can be adjusted to support such a protocol and hence allowing infinite possibility for sensors to connect. We also offer application specific Analytics integration into our platform to transform data to knowledge and then wisdom.
For our first project, we have launched a citizen engagement application, which allows Citizens to take a photo and report city-wide problems to the city councils. We have built a backend for all the city councils to resolve the problems. We also have an analytics dashboard for the Chief Minister of the state to get a birds eye view of the performance of the city councils.
DataStax: Did you use a different technology before you started using Cassandra?
REDtone: Yes. We used MongoDB for the database before we migrated to Cassandra as our choice of database.
DataStax: Why did you decide to use Cassandra? What kind of data is stored there?
REDtone: There were several reasons for moving to Cassandra. Firstly, we were very impressed with the speed at which Cassandra performs the read and write to the database. We also liked the fact that DSE had so many integrated tools for us to use in our project. Finally, the Startup program allowed to use the enterprise version of DSE at no initial cost.
We have many kinds of data stored in Cassandra, including user specific data, sensor data, data from the mobile phone sensors and the reports to the city councils.
DataStax: How would you sum up the benefits you’ve achieved with DataStax Enterprise (DSE)?
REDtone: We have gained access to the various resources available of the DSE website and forums. From time to time, we receive upgrades and security patches for our installation. We have also received support and access to best practices for deploying a live DSE cluster.
DataStax: What caused you to use DSE over open source Cassandra?
REDtone: Mainly the support offered, security updates and the already integrated tools like Solr and Spark with DSE.
DataStax: What features from the DataStax Enterprise (DSE) stack are you using at the moment? What business use case do they fulfil?
REDtone: We use DSE Search (Solr) for most of our complex queries because it is able to index the entire database and offers strong query and facet ability. We also use Spark with R for our analytics.
DataStax: Tell us about the future of your project, do you intend to leverage other parts of DSE to make it a reality?
REDtone: Our future involves a lot of data analysis with Hadoop and Spark. We will definitely be using these tools to create applications for our customers.
DataStax: What advice would you give to other startups that are thinking about using Cassandra for the first time in their solutions?
REDtone: We would advise to give it a try because the there is virtually no cost involved in the beginning. Take advantage of the startup program to learn how to get the most out of the DSE stack. Start with a small cluster and easily expand if you feel the solution is right for you.