Netflix is doing some amazing things. If you have the service, you know they are dependent on Amazon Web Services but their cloud practices transcend that dependency. Adrian Cockroft has delivered some really excellent talks explaining how they do what they do.
and also a nice talk on how they moved to Cassandra to do a lot of the heavy lifting.
and he provided another very nice presentation at the Cassandra conference C*2012 about running Cassandra on AWS.
Interesting in the two Cassandra talks he discusses use of SSDs to improve Cassandra performance. He talks about moving from 2 drives (1.7 TB) to 2 SSD volumes (2 TB). He shows results from a hard disk versus SSD comparison. Netflix is offering a number of Cassandra-related software as open source, such as Priam (for Cassandra automation), Astyanax (client, front-end into Cassandra) and more (like Aegisthus, Zeno, Chaos Monkey, Zuul, Pythias, etc). Note that AppDynamics is used throughout these presentations. One other project I’m aware of is a non-JVM way of getting to the recipes in Astyanax is STAASH. You can follow all of this on the Netflix technical blog.
Also a post that may be of interest : Some Thoughts on Why We Want To Run Databases on Flash