Cassandra vs ScyllaDB: A Comparative Analysis for Your Next Database Solution

Web Development

Apr 01, 2023

Today, we're diving into the world of distributed databases by comparing two popular NoSQL solutions: Apache Cassandra and ScyllaDB. Both of these databases offer high availability, fault tolerance, and linear scalability, but how do they differ, and which one might be the best fit for your project? Let's dive in and find out!

Apache Cassandra

Apache Cassandra is an open-source, distributed NoSQL database designed to handle large amounts of data across many commodity servers, providing high availability with no single point of failure. It was originally developed at Facebook and is now maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Cassandra's data model is based on Google's Bigtable, and its distributed architecture is inspired by Amazon's Dynamo.


ScyllaDB is an open-source, distributed NoSQL database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra. It was designed to deliver high performance and low latency while maintaining the benefits of a distributed architecture. ScyllaDB is written in C++ and aims to address some of the performance and latency issues in Cassandra, which is written in Java.


One of the primary differences between Cassandra and ScyllaDB is performance. ScyllaDB was explicitly designed to improve upon Cassandra's performance by leveraging modern hardware and software optimizations.

Latency: ScyllaDB generally has lower read and write latencies than Cassandra, mainly due to its utilization of the Seastar framework, a high-performance server-side application framework written in C++.

Throughput: ScyllaDB can handle higher throughput than Cassandra, thanks to its shard-per-core architecture, which maximizes hardware utilization and parallelizes operations.


Both Cassandra and ScyllaDB are designed for linear scalability. As you add more nodes to the cluster, both databases can scale out horizontally to accommodate increasing amounts of data and traffic. However, there are some differences in how they handle scaling.

Cassandra: Cassandra's horizontal scaling is based on consistent hashing and virtual nodes, which enable the database to distribute data evenly across the cluster. Adding or removing nodes requires minimal manual intervention.

ScyllaDB: ScyllaDB employs a similar approach to scaling as Cassandra, but it further optimizes resource utilization by implementing a shard-per-core architecture. This allows for more efficient scaling on multi-core machines and improved parallelism.

Ease of Use and Deployment

Cassandra and ScyllaDB both provide various tools and resources for developers, but there are some differences in their ease of use and deployment processes.

Cassandra: Cassandra offers a range of deployment options, including support for Docker and Kubernetes. The Apache community provides extensive documentation, and various third-party tools are available for monitoring, management, and backup.

ScyllaDB: ScyllaDB also supports Docker and Kubernetes, and offers additional management tools like Scylla Manager and Scylla Monitoring Stack. The ScyllaDB team provides comprehensive documentation and migration guides for those looking to transition from Cassandra.

Community and Ecosystem

The community and ecosystem surrounding a database can be a significant factor when deciding which solution to choose.

Cassandra: As an Apache project, Cassandra boasts a large and active community, with numerous contributors and widespread adoption across various industries. There are numerous resources available, including online forums, mailing lists, and conferences dedicated to Cassandra. The rich ecosystem includes numerous third-party integrations and tools that can help you get the most out of your Cassandra deployment.

ScyllaDB: While ScyllaDB's community is smaller than Cassandra's, it is growing rapidly and is highly engaged. The ScyllaDB team is committed to providing support, hosting webinars, and organizing meetups and conferences to educate users and gather feedback. ScyllaDB also benefits from its compatibility with Cassandra, as many existing tools and integrations can be used seamlessly with both databases.


Both Cassandra and ScyllaDB are open-source projects, which means that you can use them for free. However, there are enterprise editions of both databases that provide additional features, support, and services.

Cassandra: DataStax, a company that offers commercial support and services for Cassandra, provides DataStax Enterprise (DSE), which includes additional features like advanced security, integrated analytics, and in-memory computing.

ScyllaDB: ScyllaDB offers an Enterprise edition with features such as scheduled backups, real-time performance metrics, and priority support. Additionally, ScyllaDB provides a managed service called Scylla Cloud, which offloads the operational burden of deploying and managing the database.

When choosing between Cassandra and ScyllaDB for your next database solution, it's crucial to consider your specific requirements and priorities. Both databases offer high availability, fault tolerance, and linear scalability, but their differences in performance, ease of use, community, and cost can sway your decision.

If you prioritize high performance and low latency, ScyllaDB may be the better choice, especially if you're already familiar with Cassandra and can leverage the compatibility between the two databases. However, if you require a more mature ecosystem and a larger community, Cassandra might be the better option, as it has been around for longer and has a more extensive user base.

Ultimately, the best way to decide between Cassandra and ScyllaDB is to evaluate your project's needs and test both databases in your specific use case. By doing so, you'll be able to make an informed decision and select the database that best aligns with your goals and requirements.

Happy database hunting, and as always, stay tuned for more technical insights and comparisons in the future!

Anton Emelianov

CTO (Chief Technology Officer)

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