Sneller is optimized to run on multiple nodes. Sneller in Docker works great for development, but it is too limited for production grade enviroments. Switching to Kubernetes provides the following benefits:

  • Horizontal scaling by adding more Sneller pods to the cluster.
  • Allows running with either AWS S3, Minio or another S3 compatible provider.


AVX-512 support

Sneller heavily depends on AVX-512 to achieve its high perfomance. Pods that run the actual Sneller daemon should have a CPU that supports AVX-512. If not all nodes in the Kubernetes cluster support AVX-512, then you can use nodeSelector to make sure the Sneller daemon pods are assigned to the proper nodes.

Memory requirements

Sneller uses RAM memory to cache S3 data, so make sure your nodes are equipped with a lot of RAM. Like most databases, the engine is fast when the cache is filled with the data that needs to be queried. It’s important to assign enough memory to the Sneller daemon pods to ensure good performance.

Sneller caches data loaded from object storage (S3) in the pod in /var/cache/sneller that is mounted as an emptydir volume that is backed by memory. For most optimal performance, the pods should be assigned enough memory to retain the data in cache. Note that specifying the size-limit is only available when the SizeMemoryBackedVolumes feature gate is enabled (optional for K8s v1.20/v1.21 and default enabled from v1.22+). If not specified, then the pod will use only 50% of the node’s RAM for caching.


The Sneller architecture consists of 3 functional components:

  1. The Sneller daemon acts as the HTTP endpoint. It parses and plans the request and partitions the request into multiple chunks.
  2. The Sneller worker runs the query-plan for the partitioned query-plan.
  3. The S3 object storage (or compatible) that holds all persistent data.

The Sneller daemon and worker share the same pod for efficiency. Each Sneller pod will always run a daemon and a worker (after the first query).

The cluster nodes don’t store any persistent data, which is a major benefit. When query processing isn’t required, then the entire cluster can be deleted without losing data. When the cluster needs to run again, then it can be recreated and used. This can significantly lower costs for situations where data is ingested at a consistent rate, but only queried rarely.

A typical query would look something like this:

sequenceDiagram participant Client participant Sneller participant Worker 1 participant Worker 2 participant Worker 3 participant S3 Client->>Sneller: execute PartiQL query activate Sneller Sneller->>Sneller: parse query S3->>Sneller: fetch index file Sneller->>Sneller: plan query Sneller->>Worker 1: execute 1/3 activate Worker 1 Sneller->>Worker 2: execute 2/3 activate Worker 2 S3->>Sneller: fetch index file activate Worker 3 S3->>Worker 1: fetch data 1/3 S3->>Worker 2: fetch data 2/3 S3->>Worker 3: fetch data 3/3 Worker 1->>Sneller: results 1/3 deactivate Worker 1 Worker 2->>Sneller: results 2/3 deactivate Worker 2 Worker 3->>Sneller: results 3/3 deactivate Worker 3 Sneller->>Sneller: combine results Sneller->>Client: results deactivate Sneller

Helm package

Sneller is deployed using a Helm chart and installs the several resources. All resource names can be customized, but the default setting uses the distribution’s name as a prefix:

  • The configmap my-sneller-s3 that holds the bucket and end-point of the S3 service (can point to AWS S3, Minio, Wasabi, …).
  • The secret my-sneller-s3 that holds the access key ID and secret access key to access S3.
  • The secret my-sneller-token that holds the token that should be used to authorize to Sneller.
  • The secret my-sneller-index that holds the 32-byte key to sign the index file (base-64 encoded).
  • The deployment my-sneller-snellerd that provides the deployment and pod template for the nodes that run the actual Sneller engine. All configuration is established via the configmap and secrets.
  • The service my-sneller-snellerd that exposes the Sneller service. This service should be used to send Sneller queries to. The service will take care of distributing the HTTP request to one of the available pods.
  • The (headless) service my-sneller-snellerd-headless that exposes all the worker services. This service is used internally by the Sneller service to discover all the available worker pods and shouldn’t be exposed externally.
  • The ingress my-sneller-snellerd exposes the Sneller daemon externally (requires that an ingress controller is already deployed in the cluster).
  • The cronjob my-sneller-sdb synchronizes all new JSON files in the source bucket into the cache bucket.

The Helm package can be deployed as-is, but typically you would want to change some parameters that can be customized.


Kubernetes resources all have a name and the Helm template typically uses a common naming scheme, so all resources can be easily related to the package installation. By default all resources have the prefix <release>-<chart>.

Name Description Default
nameOverride String to partially override the <chart> in the naming prefix. "" (uses sneller)
fullnameOverride String to fully override the naming prefix. "" (uses <release>-<chart>)


Name Description Default
snellerd.name Name of the Sneller daemon deployment and pods ""
snellerd.replicaCount Number of replicas that run the Sneller daemon/worker 3
snellerd.serviceType Service type of the Sneller service ClusterIP
snellerd.repository Repository that holds the Sneller container image sneller/snellerd
snellerd.tag Tag of the Sneller container image latest
snellerd.pullPolicy Sneller image pull policy IfNotPresent
snellerd.ports.snellerd Port of the Sneller daemon 8000
snellerd.ports.internode Port of the Sneller worker (not to be exposed) 8001
snellerd.maxCacheDirSize Maximum size of the caching directory (only respected when SizeMemoryBackedVolumes feature gate is enabled) 1Gi
snellerd.podLabels Labels to add to all Sneller pods {}
snellerd.podAnnotations Annotations to add to all Sneller pods {}
snellerd.nodeSelector Node selector to select the nodes that should run Sneller (useful to select AVX-512 capable nodes) {}
snellerd.tolerations Tolerations of the Sneller pods []
snellerd.affinity {}
snellerd.serviceLabels Labels to add to the Sneller service {}
snellerd.serviceAnnotations Annotations to add to the Sneller service {}
snellerd.headlessServiceLabels Labels to add to the headless Sneller service {}
snellerd.headlessServiceAnnotations Annotations to add to the headless Sneller service {}
snellerd.resources Resource units for the Sneller pods {}


Name Description Default
sdb.name Name of the SDB cronjob and pods ""
sdb.repository Repository that holds the SDB container image sneller/sdb
sdb.tag Tag of the SDB container image latest
sdb.pullPolicy SDB image pull policy IfNotPresent
sdb.cronJob Cronjob specification that specifies at which interval to run the job * * * * *
sdb.database Sneller database that should be ingested default
sdb.tablePattern Table pattern that specifies which tables should be synced *
sdb.batchSize Maximum batch size that should be ingested per synchronization 1073741824 (1GiB)


The Helm template can create a default Ingress resource, but it’s fairly limited. If you need more sophisticated ingress, then disable the ingress creation and define your own Ingress resource that will map to the port snellerd.ports.snellerd of the Sneller service. The ingress definition does support TLS to enable secure HTTPS connectivity.

Name Description Default
ingress.enabled Enable creation of the Ingress resource false
ingress.ingressClassName Ingress class name (if omitted, then a default ingress class should be defined) ""
ingress.hosts List of hostnames that will be used []
ingress.tls List of TLS `certificate definitions (see section below) []
ingress.annotations Annotations to add to the ingress {}

Ingress TLS`

Name Description Default
ingress.tls.*.hosts Hostnames for this TLS certificate ""
ingress.tls.*.secretName Name of the secret that holds the TLS certificate ""

S3 secrets

Sneller requires S3 (or compatible) object storage and is compatible with AWS S3, Minio (self-hosted) and other S3-compatible services. Access to AWS S3 is controlled using an access key identifier and a secret access key that are stored in a secret. The endpoint and bucket-name are set in the configuration.

Name Description Default
secrets.s3.useExistingSecret Set to true to prevent creation of a new secret false
secrets.s3.secretName Name of the secret that holds the S3 credentials ""
secrets.s3.values.awsAccessKeyId Access key identifier (required) ""
secrets.s3.values.awsSecretAccessKey Secret access key (required) ""

Sneller token secret

Access to Sneller is controlled via a token.

Name Description Default
secrets.sneller.useExistingSecret Set to true to prevent creation of a new secret false
secrets.sneller.secretName Name of the secret that holds the Sneller token ""
secrets.sneller.values.snellerToken Token to access the Sneller engine (automatically generated if not set) ""

Sneller index secret

Sneller uses an index-file that is signed with the index-key to avoid tampering. The index-key should be a 32-byte base-64 encoded string.

Name Description Default
secrets.index.useExistingSecret Set to true to prevent creation of a new secret false
secrets.index.secretName Name of the secret that holds the Sneller index key ""
secrets.index.values.snellerIndexKey Index key that is used to sign the index-file (required)


Name Description Default
configuration.name Name of the configuration map that holds the Sneller configuration ""
configuration.values.s3EndPoint Set to true to prevent creation of a new secret http://minio:9000
configuration.values.s3Bucket Set to true to prevent creation of a new secret s3://test/

Optimizing performance

Scaling the cluster and caching

Sneller uses a cache partitioning scheme based on rendez-vous hashing that is fast and effective. The only drawback is that the partioning may change when adding/removing nodes, so this may (partially) invalidate a part of the cache. This may cause queries to run more slowly, until the cache has been restored.

Keep your data close

Sneller uses S3 object storage for all persistent storage. Data that is not available in RAM needs to be loaded from S3. To improve performance and reduce costs, it’s best to run Sneller in the same region as where your data is stored. Consider using Minio when you’re not running in AWS and host Minio in the same Kubernetes cluster.

Sneller currently doesn’t have support for Azure blob storage or Google Storage, but the architecture has been designed so it could be added later.