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DataStax 1.2 bring Cassandra to your PC
Cassandra is a major wide column store NoSQL database. It's popular in standalone form, and can be used with Hadoop to perform MapReduce analyses on Cassandra column families (tables). DataStax is the company that perhaps yields the most influence over Cassandra and its open source code. As such, its distribution of Cassandra is a great one to work with.
As you will see in this gallery, you don't need to be a Linux jock to get Cassandra installed, running and working with your applications. if you're a Windows user or developer, you can run a simple installer, then use a variety of tools or your own code against Cassandra databases.