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If your analysis is correct particularly around scaling up by 30% but not seeing a linear increase in throughput, then there's a good chance that the client/driver is the bottleneck.
Consider adding client instances at the application tier. For example, if you have 4 app instances then try adding 2 more app instances and see if the overall throughput increases.
Which driver are you using? If you're using the Java driver, check if the driver's IO threads are saturating its CPU core. You can run profilers or Linux commands like
pidstat -tu. The driver's IO threads are named like
*-io-*. If the CPU core for the driver thread is maxed out, try doubling the pool.local.size to 2. Cheers!
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