Brian O'Neill commented on CASSANDRA-13475:

 A "storage engine" is analogous to the storage engine concept of MySQL. InnoDB 
and MyISAM are MySQL storage engines, and a few others exist as well. A driver 
swap is analogous to swapping MySQL for PostgreSQL, which aren't fully 
compatible. Pluggable storage inside Cassandra allows applications to continue 
using Cassandra, and with a high degree of compatibility.

An application can define tables against the engine which make the most sense, 
and all of them can co-exist. Over time, the preferred storage engine might 
change, much like how InnoDB is preferred over MyISAM, which was the original.

> Pluggable storage engine design
> -------------------------------
>                 Key: CASSANDRA-13475
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CASSANDRA-13475
>             Project: Cassandra
>          Issue Type: Sub-task
>            Reporter: Dikang Gu
>            Assignee: Dikang Gu
>            Priority: Major
> In this jira, we discuss how to make Cassandra's storage engine to be 
> pluggable. We will discuss the scope, expectation, and guideline for this 
> project, as well as a detailed design so that we can create sub tasks for 
> each small project.
> Here is a design doc we are currently working on:  
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1suZlvhzgB6NIyBNpM9nxoHxz_Ri7qAm-UEO8v8AIFsc

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