Layered architecture

YugabyteDB architecture follows a layered design. The logical layers are the Yugabyte Query Layer, and the DocDB distributed document store, as per the following diagram:

YugabyteDB Logical Architecture

For more information, see the following:

Yugabyte Query Layer

The Yugabyte Query Layer (YQL) is the upper layer of YugabyteDB. Applications interact directly with YQL using client drivers. This layer deals with the API-specific aspects such as query and command compilation, as well as the run-time (data type representations, built-in operations, and so on). YQL is designed with extensibility in mind, allowing new APIs to be added.

YQL supports two types of distributed SQL APIs: Yugabyte SQL (YSQL) and Yugabyte Cloud QL (YCQL).


YSQL is a distributed SQL API that is built by reusing the PostgreSQL language layer code. It is a stateless SQL query engine that is wire-format compatible with PostgreSQL.


YCQL is a semi-relational language that has its roots in Cassandra Query Language. It is a SQL-like language built specifically to be aware of clustering of data across nodes.

For more information, see The query layer design.


DocDB is a distributed document store with the following properties:

Data in DocDB is stored in tables. Each table is composed of rows, with each row containing a key and a document.


Data is stored inside tables in DocDB. A DocDB table is often sharded into a number of tablets whose sharding is transparent.

For more information, see DocDB sharding.


Each tablet consisting of user data is replicated according to some replication factor using the Raft consensus algorithm. Replication is performed at a tablet level, and ensures single row linearizability even in the presence of failures.

For more information, see DocDB replication.


In order to persist data, a log-structured row- and document-oriented storage is used. It includes several optimizations for handling ever-growing data sets efficiently.

For more information, see DocDB persistence.


DocDB supports both single-row and multi-row transactions, therefore allowing to modify multiple keys while preserving atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID) properties.

For more information, see the following: