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From Eric Rosenberry <>
Subject Re: Experiences with Cassandra hardware planning
Date Mon, 25 Oct 2010 15:21:27 GMT
Hey Chris-

That is tough to say as we started out with no data and have been
continuously loading data into the cluster.  Initially we had less data than
the amount of RAM in each node (48 gigs) but we have eventually exceeded
that and now have many times more data on each node than in the entire

Some key points though:
1. Upon cold start of the cluster (i.e. nothing in file system cache) disk
i/o was massive even when the total dataset was less than the RAM in one
system (this same thing holds true in RDBMS systems of course, though many
of them are smart about pre-loading data)
2. We gave up on using Cassandra's row cache as loading any reasonable
amount of data into the cache would take days/weeks with our tiny row size.
 We instead are using file system cache.
3. After switching to SSD's we thought we might be able to get away with les
RAM (as we were relying on the SSD's to be fast rather than RAM cache) but
dropping them to 24 gigs cut the clusters read capacity by 75%.
4. When Cassandra is set to replication factor of three and the read replica
count is one, data still gets read (for read repair) on all three nodes that
have a copy of the data.  This brings that data into memory on those
machines so the amount of total cluster memory available to cache actual
data is not 192 gigs in my example of four nodes, but only 64 gigs minus OS
and Cassandra overhead (I divided 192 by three since three copies are stored
in RAM across the cluster).


On Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 7:41 AM, Chris Burroughs
> You mention that you consistently found your boxes IO bound despite the
> large amount of RAM available for caching.  Could you state roughly what
> the ratio of RAM to on disk data was?

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