Instacluster announced on the Apache Cassandra user list that they are making their supported branch of the Cassandra 3.7 tick tock release publicly available (see GitHub repo). Bug fixes that go into 3.8, 3.9, etc will be back ported to the Instacluster LTS. You can read the blog post about the decision.

Some people I’ve talked to are concerned about having different commercial entities doing long term supported releases, and this concern is understandable. The obvious preference is for the project maintainers to handle this and make an official LTS available. The big concern here is that third party LTS could fracture the project in the long term.

While I would hate to see a fractured community (see the history of Hadoop), what we’re seeing is a pragmatic response to a real problem. While the Tick Tock release cycle is great for rapid iteration it’s also absolutely terrifying for operators. For any non-trivial project it takes at least a month or two to go from the decision to dev to staging to production for a database upgrade. This means that once you finally go into production with a Tick Tock release you’re faced with the shitty reality that you are running a version of Cassandra which will never get bug fixes. If that doesn’t give you pause then I’m not sure we’re living on the same planet.

Hopefully we see the Apache Cassandra PMC revisit this decision in an official form soon, eliminating the need for third party stable releases. Until then, if you need a feature from the 3.x line, like SASI, your best bet is to go with the Instacluster LTS rather than an official one.