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SAS Shifts from Cassandra to ScyllaDB with No Code Changes

David Blythe of SAS discusses a seamless migration from Cassandra to ScyllaDB.


My name is David Blythe. I'm a Principal Software Engineer at SAS. SAS is a leader in analytics. We have been using NoSQL databases to store data about visitors who are going to be served advertising.  And as we were using a previous version of Cassandra and our license was coming due, we wanted to consider alternatives and ScyllaDB was an alternative that offered the possibility of saving us costs and being more performant.

So we did some internal evaluations of ScyllaDB, found that to be true, and made the switch. The remarkable thing was that ScyllaDB had claimed that it was compatible with Cassandra. In the many years I've been doing software development and companies have made those claims, this was one of the only times I can remember where that actually proved to be true. We did not change our application one bit: the same drivers, the same commands we were using before with Cassandra, were working with ScyllaDB with absolutely no changes.

So for very low technical costs, we wound up saving money on infrastructure and getting better read performance , much improved read performance, especially when went under load. Additionally, it has been operationally much easier than Cassandra. There are fewer knobs to twiddle and yet the thing just works. It's been reliable. We have hardly any headaches ever, surrounding the ScyllaDB implementation that we have. It's been it's been wonderful.