By default Cassandra syncs the commit log to disk periodically, so if you are looking at file sizes, you won't see the most up to date numbers. This is just like how if you tail a file that isn't flushing frequently, you might wait a little while before you see the updates.
In periodic mode, Cassandra acknowledges the write to the client immediately (even before it is synced). You can run Cassandra in batch mode instead, which basically means it writes in batches and it won't acknowledge the writes to the client until it has actually synced. I'm still somewhat new to this, but that's my understanding.
Have a look at CommitLogSync in your storage-conf.xml for more info about setting up syncing periods.
As an aside, I'm not sure why the "ack immediately" or "ack after sync" setting is piggybacked on the periodic vs batch setting. At first glance it seems like concepts should be independent of one another.
On Sun, Jul 4, 2010 at 3:34 AM, David Boxenhorn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As I understand it, when you write to Cassandra, you are assured that, if successful, the new data has been written to a log file - so that if there is a crash your data is safe. Is this correct?
If the above is correct, there is something going on that I don't understand. Are the log files to which the data is first written the ones that look like /var/lib/cassandra/commitlog/CommitLog-1277998453387.log ? The reason I ask is that when I write a lot of data, nothing seems to change in the commitlog directory for a long time, then at some point the log files in this directory get updated. It looks to me like there's memory caching involved, and the new data is not being immediately written to disk. What is going on?