ScyllaDB Database Review for 2020

Scylla is an open-source drop-in replacement for Apache Cassandra. While preserving the best traits of Cassandra in high availability, fault tolerance and its rich ecosystem, Scylla offers developers a higher-performing and resource-effective NoSQL database.


eWEEK is building a new IT products and services section that encompasses most of the categories that we cover on our site. In it, we will spotlight the leaders in each sector, which include enterprise software, hardware, security, on-premises-based systems and cloud services. We also will add promising new companies as they come into the market.

Today: ScyllaDB (real-time big data database provider)

Company descriptionFounded by the team responsible for the open-source KVM hypervisor, ScyllaDB provides a performant, cost-effective and easy-to-use NoSQL database.  Launched in 2016, Scylla is an open source drop-in replacement for Apache Cassandra. While preserving the best traits of Cassandra in high availability, fault tolerance and its rich ecosystem, Scylla offers developers a higher-performing and resource-effective NoSQL database. Written in C++, Scylla is based on a modern, shared-nothing approach. It runs multiple engines, one per core, each with its own memory, CPU and multi-queue NIC. As a result, it can easily reach 1,000,000 IOPS on a single commodity server. Scylla ensures consistent, low latencies, under 1 millisecond for inserts, deletes and reads.

A rapidly increasing number of enterprises today are challenged by the issues that come with real-time big data operations. With pressing needs for high availability, most of these organizations now follow a scale-out approach. However, the limitations of most NoSQL databases has led to a proliferation of distributed database instances to the point of “node sprawl.” This results in unnecessarily high costs, system complexity and database administration. Despite never-ending tuning and maintenance, most NoSQL datastores suffer from sudden latency hiccups, expensive locking and low throughput due to low processor utilization.

Scylla reduces the cost and complexity of big data systems by enabling users to scale up on existing resources before they scale out. This performance improvement enables not only a reduction in hardware resources but also a streamlined development process for architecture, debugging and devops labor.

Scylla is in production at hundreds of leading organizations, including AppNexus, AdGear, CERN, Discord, IBM, Nauto, Ola Cabs, Samsung and Ytel. It is used for a variety of business-critical purposes, including as a key-value store, time-series database, large blob store, and graph database backend. The company is also partnering with industry leaders such as Qualcomm, IBM Compose, Samsung SDS, and many more.

ScyllaDB is privately held, with funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Innovation Endeavors, Wing Venture Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Magma Venture Partners, Western Digital Capital, Samsung Ventures, and TLV Partners.

  • CEO:  Dor Laor
  • Headquarters:
    • US:  1900 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto, Calif. 94303 USA
    • Israel:  11 Galgalei Haplada, Herzliya 4672211, Israel

Markets:  EMEA, North America, APAC

International operations: Distributed engineering team spans 14 countries around the globe.

Product and Services

Scylla Open Source:  Leveraging the best from Apache Cassandra in high availability, fault tolerance, and its rich ecosystem, Scylla offers developers a dramatically higher-performing and resource effective NoSQL database to power modern and demanding applications.

Scylla Enterprise:  Based on the Scylla Open Source project, Scylla Enterprise includes a Scylla Enterprise license, tested and certified binaries, software updates, hot fixes, technical support that guarantees that you have access to the engineers who developed Scylla, and more. Includes Scylla Manager for centralized cluster administration and recurrent task automation to Scylla Enterprise.

Key Features

Open Source Scylla:  Scylla is an open source drop-in replacement for Apache Cassandra with scale-up performance of 1 million IOPS per node, scale-out to hundreds of nodes and 99 percent latency of < 1msec.  ScyllaDB has redesigned Apache Cassandra from scratch. Scylla leverages the power of C++ to unleash the infrastructure’s true potential for running high-throughput/low-latency workloads.

Scylla Enterprise:  Built on field-proven Scylla Open Source, Scylla Enterprise includes quality assurance testing, scale and performance testing, supported OS validation, back-porting of bug fixes, long-term support, formal end-of-life policies and security checks.

Scylla Enterprise also recently added Scylla Manager, a centralized cluster administration and recurrent tasks automation tool. Scylla Manager 1.x includes automation of periodic repair, with future releases providing more capabilities, such as rolling upgrades, recurrent backup, and more. With time, Scylla Manager will become the focal point of Scylla Enterprise Cluster Management, including a GUI front end.

Scylla Manager includes three main parts:

  • A Go-based server
  • sctool, a CLI designed for the Scylla Manager server
  • A highly available data store, providing persistence and stability

Insight and Analysis

There is not yet a lot of review analysis data available, but G2 Crowd has this recent one from a professional user:

What do you like best? “The speed of writing and reading, along with maximizing resources in a zero-config way for servers where it's installed is insanely useful, even if it's not completely API-complete against Cassandra.”

What do you dislike? “The license (Affero) was too restrictive for our organization, so we had to pass on using it, despite the ease-of-use and speed benefits.”

Recommendations to others considering the product: “If you can afford the enterprise license or are not bundling it with a solution for sale it is a no-brainer for the use case of storing dynamic tables.”

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized? “We would use it as a backend store for longitudinal patient data by data type. Our current solution requires a ton of tuning and node investment that would otherwise not have been necessary if we went with Scylla.”

DigitalOcean has a comparison of NoSQL databases here.

PandoraFMS has a guide to NoSQL databases here.


List of current customers: IBM, Samsung, CERN, Snapfish, IMVU, AppNexus, Outbrain, Olacabs, and many more.

DeliveryOn-premises and cloud-hosted.

Pricing: ScyllaDB is a free open source NoSQL database.  For details on Scylla Enterprise, please visit to connect with a solution architect who will be happy to analyze your database requirements and recommend the optimal deployment architecture that suits your needs.

Other key players in the NoSQL database market:  Apache Cassandra, DataStax, Redis Labs, AWS (DynamoDB), MongoDB, Couchbase, MarkLogic.

Contact information for potential customers: 

Email:  [email protected]


Phone:  (650) 332-9582






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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...