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Scylla Enterprise Release 2018.1.0

The Scylla team is pleased to announce the release of Scylla Enterprise 2018.1.0, a production-ready Scylla Enterprise major release.

The Scylla Enterprise 2018.1 release is based on Scylla Open Source 2.1 and includes new features which are only offered to our Enterprise customers, Enterprise version bug fixes, and backported bug fixes from upstream releases 1.7, 2.0, 2.1 and master.

Read more about our enterprise NoSQL features here.

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Scylla Enterprise customers are encouraged to upgrade to Scylla Enterprise 2018.1 and are welcome to contact our Support Team with questions.

New Features in Scylla Enterprise 2018.1

Enterprise only features in 2018.1

  • Auditing
    Scylla Enterprise includes an auditing capability, which allows administrators to track system and users activity for deployments with multiple users.
    Scylla auditing can work in Keyspace, Table or Category granularity. Categories are:
    AUTH Logs login events
    DML Logs insert, update, delete, and other data manipulation language (DML) events
    DDL Logs object and role create, alter, drop, and other data definition language (DDL) events
    DCL Logs grant, revoke, create a role, drop a role, and list roles events
    QUERY Logs all queriesThe audit log can be output the system log, or to a Scylla table. More on Auditing in Scylla Enterprise: http://docs.scylladb.com/operating-scylla/auditing.
  • IBM Power support
    Scylla Enterprise 2018.1 is also available on the IBM POWER8 architecture, running on CentOS 7 and RHEL.

New Features in 2018.1
(Where mentioned, issue numbers are from the upstream open source project)

  • Counters. Available in Scylla open source from 1.7, Counters are now part of Scylla Enterprise
    More on Counters: http://docs.scylladb.com/using-scylla/counters/
  • Time Window Compaction Strategy (TWCS). An improvement and simplification to Date Tiered Compaction Strategy (DTCS) as the go-to strategy for time series data. TWCS uses Size-Tiered Compaction Strategy (STCS) on “time windowed“ groups of SSTables, using the maximum timestamp of the SSTable to decide which time window each SSTable will be part of. #1432
  • Row Cache. In Pre 2.0 releases, Scylla cached full partitions only and we chose not to cache partitions larger than 10MB. With the introduction of row cache, Scylla can cache a single CQL row out of a large partition, removing this limitation. This change will significantly improve Scylla performance for use cases with large partitions such as Time Series.
  • Heat Weighted Load Balancing. When a Scylla node restarts for any reason (upgrade, config update, error), it starts with an empty cache. This means the node read path will always hit the disk until it’s cache is repopulated. During this time, this node will be slower, and as a result, can slow down the entire cluster. Heat Weighted Load Balancing solves this issue by optimizing the node selection in the coordinator based on the heat of each node. A hot node, with a good cache-hit-ratio, will get more reads requests than a cold node with the same data and a lower cache hit ratio. After some time, the cold node will become hot, and the load balancing will become uniform again. #1455. More on Heat Weighted Load Balancing
  • Improved Performance for CPU-bound workloads. More here.
  • DNS resolution. You can now use DNS names (FQDN), not only IPs, in scylla.yaml for seed nodes, listen_address, broadcast_address and broadcast_rpc_address #2357.
  • CQL additions:
    • Cast functions between types, for example: SELECT avg(cast(count as double)) FROM myTable.
    • Support Duration data type #2240.
    • CQL prepared statements are now properly evicted so that you’re not able to OOM a server just by preparing many unique statements. See #2474
    • Support non-reserved keywords as columns (without quotes) #2507, for example, a column named “frozen”.
    • Update to CQL 3.3.1, to align with Cassandra 2.2 release
    • New data types: tinyint, smallint, date, and time #1284
      Binary protocol v4 (required by the new data types).
    • Support UNSET in prepared statements #2039
    • CQL aggregate functions now support floating point data types #2168
  • Transitional Auth – To enable access control without downtime, use transitional modes to temporarily support applications and users that do not have accounts without interrupting services. More here
  • New REST API /storage_service/force_terminate_repair allows aborting of a running repair and all the data streams related to it. #2105.
  • Ext4 support. Scylla now supports the ext4 file system in production, not just in dev mode. Using XFS is still recommended for best performance #2381.
  • CPU isolation. Improve latency using isolation between background tasks like memtable flushes and compaction and foreground tasks like CQL read/write. More here
  • Java tools. Java tools provided with Scylla are upgraded to match Cassandra 3.0. In particular:
    • sstableloader supports Cassandra 3.0 sstable format, allowing easy migration from Cassandra 2.2 and 3.x clusters to Scylla
    • sstable2json is renamed to sstabledump
    • sstablesplit, sstableupgrade, sstablescrub, json2sstable, sstablekeys, and token-generator are temporarily removed (all break compatibility to current SSTable format)
  • CompressionInfo.db files, part of the SSTable format, are stored more efficiently in memory, allowing higher disk: RAM ratios #1946.

System Impacts

  • Installation updates
    Starting from Scylla Enterprise 2018.1, Scylla packages for Ubuntu 16.04 and Debian 8 are signed. You can find the keys and instructions per Linux distribution here.
  • Upgrade procedure. You can only upgrade to Scylla Enterprise 2018.1 from Scylla Enterprise 2017.1.6 or later, or from Scylla Open Source 2.1 or later. Upgrade from earlier Scylla releases is not supported.
  • Kernel support
    Scylla Enterprise 2018.1 requires Linux kernel 3.10.0-514 or later.
  • Driver support
    Relevant for upgrading from Scylla Enterprise 2017.1 (ignore if you are upgrading from Scylla Open Source 2.1).Certain older versions of Cassandra drivers are no longer supported. With the introduction of MV, Scylla has moved to Cassandra 3.0 compatible system tables. This means that certain old Cassandra drivers, which do not work with Cassandra 3.0, will not work with Scylla.To ensure your application will work properly after a Scylla upgrade, we highly recommend upgrading your Cassandra driver before upgrading to Scylla 2018.1. The latest drivers are backward compatible and will work with all Scylla 2017.1, 1.x and 2.x releases, past, and future.At the very least, your Cassandra driver should be in the list below, using the version listed or later.
    – C++ : 2.3+
    – C#: 3.0+
    – Java: 3.0+
    – Node.js: 3.0+
    – PHP: 1.2+
    – Python: 3.5+
    – Ruby: 3.0+
    – GoCQL commit 8d27cdeae224463cadc1ee973386862baaf6662e (Mar 1, 2016) or later.
  • Counter Migration. Scylla does not support Counter SSTables created by Apache Cassandra 2.0 or older. Note that if you upgraded from Cassandra 2.0 to 2.1, you may still have old Counters in the SSTables.The proper way to migrate Counters data from Cassandra to Scylla is to run a major compaction on the Cassandra node, and use sstableloader to load the SSTable to Scylla.
  • Deprecated partitioners. Byte-ordered and random partitioners were deprecated in Scylla Open Source 2.0, and Scylla Enterprise 2018.1 and will be removed in a future version. Please open a support ticket if you use or are planning to use these partitioners.
  • New intra-node sharding algorithmThe intra-node sharding algorithm determines how data is divided among cores in a node. The change results in a better distribution of data among cores, especially in large clusters. This improves performance across the cluster. When upgrading from 2017.1, please check scylla.yaml for murmur3_partitioner_ignore_msb_bits. If you do *not* have this line, please consult Scylla support on how to safely upgrade.

Metrics updates from 2017.1

Scylla Monitoring stack now includes Scylla 2018.1 dashboard. For a full list of metrics, update see here.

Known Issues

When installing Scylla Enterprise on Power Architecture, scylla_setup fail to install node_exporter. Without node_exporter OS level metric is not reported to Scylla Monitoring Stack. Bypass: install node_exporter packages using the public repo.

Next Steps

  • Learn more about Scylla from our product page.
  • See what our users are saying about Scylla.
  • Download Scylla. Check out our download page to run Scylla on AWS, install it locally in a Virtual Machine, or run it in Docker.
Tzach Livyatan

About Tzach Livyatan

Tzach Livyatan has a B.A. and MSc in Computer Science (Technion, Summa Cum Laude), and has had a 15 year career in development, system engineering and product management. In the past he worked in the Telecom domain, focusing on carrier grade systems, signalling, policy and charging applications.