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Scylla Enterprise 2021

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Scylla Enterprise 2021

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Our latest enterprise release, Scylla Enterprise 2021.1 provides a new Space Amplification Goal for incremental compaction, binary search in a promoted index, as well as improvements to performance, disk space management and overall manageability.

Now in Scylla Enterprise 2021

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LDAP Authentication and Authorization

Scylla Enterprise introduced support for LDAP Authorization and Authentication. LDAP Authentication allows Scylla Enterprise customers to manage a list of Scylla Enterprise users and passwords in an external Directory Service (LDAP server). And with LDAP Authorization enabled, for any user authenticated in Scylla Enterprise, a query is sent to the Directory Service (LDAP server) to receive a set of user’s roles for that login session to be applied for role based access control (RBAC).

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Change Data Capture (CDC)

Scylla Enterprise now supports CDC, which allows you to observe changes in your data set. These changes can be consumed by other applications and streaming services, such as populating Kafka topics that can then notify other systems. For example, changes to product pricing, inventory or availability in an online store can be pushed using CDC to other systems for reporting or analysis. The data is stored in regular Scylla tables (SSTables) and can be queried asynchronously using a standard Scylla/Cassandra CQL driver. With Scylla’s CDC, you can choose to keep track of the updates (deltas), original values (pre-images), and/or new values (post-images). Data in a CDC table is set to expire with a TTL, minimizing the possibility of a storage overflow.

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Space Amplification Goal (SAG) for ICS

A common need is to leave at least half of the disk free so that you’re guaranteed your cluster won’t run out of disk space when you need to run compactions. To address this infrastructure inefficiency, Scylla continues to refine compaction strategies. 

Scylla Enterprise 2019.1.4 introduced Incremental Compaction Strategy (ICS). While ICS provides significant savings for disk space, it comes at the cost of write amplification. A new feature of Scylla Enterprise 2021.1 is Space Amplification Goal (SAG), a new property users can set to balance between space amplification and write amplification. Intended for Scylla users with overwrite-intensive workloads, this new feature triggers compaction to deduplicate data whenever the compaction strategy finds that space amplification has crossed the configured goal. First introduced in 2020.1.6, ICS SAG is now part of Scylla Enterprise 2021.1.

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Remove the Seed Concept in Gossip

The concept of seed and the different behavior between seed nodes and non-seed nodes generate a lot of confusion, complication, and error for users. Beginning with this release, seed nodes are ignored in the Gossip protocol. They are still in use (for now) as part of the init process.

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Binary Search in SSTable Promoted Index

The binary search dramatically improves index lookup, making them 12x faster, while reducing CPU utilization to only 1/10th or 10% and disk I/O to 1/20th or 5% the prior rates. Before Scylla Enterprise 2021.1, lookups in the promoted index were done by scanning the index linearly, so that the lookup took O(n) time. This is inefficient for large partitions, consuming a great deal of CPU and I/O. Now the reader scans the SSTable promoted index with a binary search, reducing search time to O(log n).

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Alternator, Our DynamoDB-Compatible API

Amazon DynamoDB users can more easily switch to Scylla, deploying your database on-premises, or on any cloud of your choice. Scylla significantly reduces the total cost of ownership, delivers lower and more consistent latencies, and expands the limitations DynamoDB places on object size, partition size, etc. The following new features have been added to Alternator since the 2020.1 release:

  • Alternator now has a Load Balancer to distribute requests smoothly across the entire cluster, rather than directing all queries to a single IP address connected to one node.
  • New Alternator SSL options (Alternator Client to Node Encryption on Transit). Beginning with this release, new alternator_encryption_options are used to define Alternator SSL.
  • New option to start Alternator with HTTPS on Docker containers. 
  • Added FilterExpression – provides a newer syntax for filtering results of Query and Scan requests.
  • Now allows users to choose the isolation level per table. If they do not use one, a default isolation level is set. 
  • Allow access to system tables from the Alternator REST API.

Now support the ScanIndexForward option of a query expression. By default, the query sort order is ascending. Setting ScanIndexForward to False parameter reverses the order.
See AWS DynamoDB Query API

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Scylla Enterprise packages are now available for: 

  • .tar file format: our Unified Installer
  • GCP: Scylla now has an official GCP Image
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Scylla Unified Installer

Scylla is now available as an all-in-one binary tar file. Unified Installer should be used when one does not have root privileges on the server. For installation on an air-gap server, with no external access,  it is recommended to download the standard packages, copy them to the air gap server and install using the standard package manager.

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GCP Images

To simplify the deployment and cluster creation process on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and avoid manual installation tasks, Scylla Enterprise is now available as a Google Compute image and can be used with Google SDK to provision and launch new Scylla instances.

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Security Updates

We are constantly improving product security. Scylla Enterprise 2021.1 addresses the following issues:

  • A new optional CQL port (19042 by default) is being open for Scylla advanced shard-aware drivers. It works exactly like the typical 9042 works for existing drivers (connector libraries), but it allows the client to choose the specific shard to connect to by precise binding of the client-side (ephemeral) port. Also, a TLS alternative is supported, under port 19142. (Learn more)
  • Now allow users to disable CQL unencrypted native transport by setting it to zero.
  • Scylla now supports hot reloading of SSL Certificates. If SSL/TLS support is enabled, then whenever the files are changed on disk, Scylla will reload them and use them for subsequent connections.

GnuTLS vulnerability: GNUTLS-SA-2020-09-04 #7212

Check out the latest Scylla Manager and Scylla Monitoring Stack for new features such as the new Advisor Section and more.

Built on the Foundations of Scylla Enterprise 2020

After thousands of commits originating from five open source releases, Scylla Enterprise 2021 has many additional features and enhancements since Scylla Enterprise 2020, including:

  • Alternator, Our DynamoDB-Compatible API for streamlined migration from Amazon DynamoDB
  • Lightweight Transactions with better performance
  • Incremental Compaction Strategy to get the most out of your infrastructure
  • Space Amplification Goal for ICS to control space amplification
  • Change Data Capture to track and stream changes in your data
  • And much more


Scylla Enterprise builds on the proven features and capabilities of Scylla Open Source, while also bringing with a set of unique enterprise-only features.

Get more details on the latest release of our highly performant Scylla Enterprise database.

Read our release notes for full details on the features and capabilities in Scylla Enterprise 2021.1.

Learn more about how to configure Space Amplification Goal for Incremental Compaction Strategy to enable space optimization in Scylla.

Find out how Scylla’s Lightweight Transactions (LWT) are far more efficient than Apache Cassandra, and how you can use conditional updates to perform compare-and-set (CAS) operations.

Learn how to configure Scylla to replace or extend Amazon DynamoDB.

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