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May 7, 2020

Scylla Looks Beyond Cassandra to Challenge DynamoDB

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NoSQL database vendor Scylla continues to target Apache Cassandra workloads with its latest open source release promoted as moving beyond “feature parity” with Cassandra while offering a “drop-in” alternative to Amazon’s Dynamo DB.

The 4.0 iteration released on Thursday (May 7) adds API compatibility with DynamoDB along with outperforming Cassandra in terms of scaling the desired number of cores. Other advantages of Scylla’s “share-nothing” approach include streaming data to 60-Tb “mega-nodes.”

The Dynamo-compatible API allows users to switch to Scylla’s C++-based rewrite of Cassandra without rewriting application code. That feature, the company said, allows developers to run the database on-premises, on a preferred cloud or via Scylla’s managed cloud database.

Scylla unveiled a new cloud service last year running on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) designed to push real-time applications into production. While Scylla’s cloud runs on AWS, the NoSQL vendor said it outperforms DynamoDB in terms of costs thanks to ScyllaDB’s C++ codebase and “close-to-the-metal” architecture, which leverages multicore processors.

The release also includes the beta version of a Kubernetes “operator” for Scylla cluster management. That feature supports deployments of “multi-zone” clusters that can be monitored via the Prometheus time-series database or the Grafana observability platform.

When measured against the upcoming Apache Casandra 4.0 release, Scylla claimed the latest version of its NoSQL database registered a more than five-fold improvement in throughput. Meanwhile, it claimed a ten-fold reduction in P99 latencies, a metric based on 99 percent of requests being faster than a given latency.

Scylla also emphasizes its cost advantages, initially when measured against Cassandra, and now with DynamoDB. Cassandra is “very costly,” Dor Laor, Scylla’s CEO and founder, told Datanami in 2018. “You’ll be running way more nodes than what you expect. And you pay a lot, especially on public clouds.”

Hence, the last version of ScyllaDB is promoted as costing one-eighth the total price of running workloads on Amazon DynamoDB.

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