Dear Apache Cassandra Community,

It is with mixed feelings that we will at the end of the year when 5.0 goes GA announce the end of life (EOL) for Apache Cassandra versions 3.0 and 3.11.

For more than half a decade, these versions have been a vital part of the open-source community, empowering countless users and organizations to build, maintain, and scale distributed databases easily and efficiently. Since the initial release of version 3.0 in November 2015, and the release of 3.11 in June 2017, we have seen enormous growth in the adoption of Apache Cassandra. With your support, these versions have successfully tackled challenges in data management, performance, and scalability. They have been the foundation for numerous applications and businesses around the globe, helping them thrive in today’s data-driven world.

However, as we continue to innovate and develop the Apache Cassandra project, we must focus our resources on the latest versions that embody the best of our community’s expertise and efforts. As a result, the project committers will no longer maintain the 3.0 and 3.11 branches. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all contributors, committers, and users who have been part of the journey of these remarkable versions.

We understand that many organizations still rely on these versions for their day-to-day operations. The Apache Cassandra community ​will continue to ​evaluate security patches ​contributed to unmaintained branches and will work with​​ and enable contributors who wish to extend these EOLs, should any step forward. CVE fixes may be applied to unmaintained versions as decided on a case-by-case basis. However, the current body of committers feels that they cannot take that task alone and that their efforts are best focused first on moving Cassandra forward, keeping it the scalable database de jure.

As we encourage users to transition from Apache Cassandra 3.0 and 3.11, we want to highlight the significant advantages of upgrading to Cassandra 4.0 or 4.1. These latest versions bring substantial improvements in performance, stability, and security, as well as new features that enhance the overall user experience. Cassandra 4.0, for instance, introduces faster streaming, incremental repair improvements, and audit logging. Furthermore, the Cassandra 4.1 release provides users with easier configuration and management, as well as new storage, network encryption, and authentication options, making it a more versatile and secure solution. Additionally, upgrading to Cassandra 4.0 or 4.1 ensures ongoing support and maintenance from the project committers, fostering a more collaborative environment to address any challenges and explore new possibilities.

Most important, upgrading from 3.0 or 3.11 to any 4.x has been designed and tested as an online upgrade.

As we bid farewell to Apache Cassandra 3.0 and 3.11, we want to once again thank our vibrant community for your dedication, collaboration, and support. We are excited about the future of Apache Cassandra and look forward to continually improving and evolving the project to meet the ever-changing demands of the distributed database landscape.

For more information on upgrading to the latest versions of Apache Cassandra, please refer to the official documentation and our community forums for assistance.

Thank you, and here’s to the next chapter in the Apache Cassandra story!

Sincerely, The Apache Cassandra Project Team