Eliminating Volatile Latencies: Inside Rakuten’s NoSQL Migration

Rakuten Catalog Platform

Rakuten built its brand on not just providing a great shopping experience across thousands of stores, but also in providing cash back earnings and perks to its loyal customers. The system that powers this experience is known as the Rakuten Catalog Platform.

Product Catalog Design

“Let’s say somebody has to start a product catalog platform from scratch,” Hitesh hypothesized, “then how will they go about it? What are the technologies to consider?” He then provided a list of key features or attributes for designing a product catalog system:

  • Near real-time price updates
  • Near real-time availability updates
  • Discovering purchasing trends — analytics
  • Discovering shopper preferences — analytics
  • Large volume of data
  • Fast growing catalog — 100s of millions of catalog items
  • Catalog enrichment support
  • Low latency requirements

Moving to ScyllaDB

The fact that ScyllaDB implemented the Cassandra CQL interface and had the same horizontal scalability made it a natural fit. But since ScyllaDB was written in C++ it would not be subject to the same foibles. Rakuten believed ScyllaDB would be five to six times faster in terms of performance right out of the box. And because of this performance gain, it would have a better total cost of ownership (TCO) and provide a better return on investment (ROI) even on the exact same hardware.

Rakuten’s KPI Improvements

After moving to ScyllaDB, the team at Rakuten found their product feed ingestion rate improved 30% — 35%. In addition, their second use case — sending enriched data to their partners — saw between 2.5 to 5 times improvement in feed publishing times. They were now basically doing real-time updates.

Watch the Full Webinar

Hitesh Shah’s full talk also includes more details of their ScyllaDB migration, as well as lessons learned in production. You can watch the on-demand webinar in full. If you have your own use case, and you’d like to see if ScyllaDB can provide you with similar operational improvements and cost savings, feel free to contact us directly.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


The monstrously fast and scalable NoSQL database.