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From Dave Revell <>
Subject Re: How does Cassandra handle failure during synchronous writes
Date Wed, 23 Feb 2011 07:07:07 GMT

There is no commit protocol. Writes may be persisted on some replicas even
though the quorum fails. Here's a sequence of events that shows the

1. Some replica R fails, but recently, so its failure has not yet been
2. A client writes with consistency > 1
3. The write goes to all replicas, all replicas except R persist the write
to disk
4. Replica R never responds
5. Failure is returned to the client, but the new value is still in the
cluster, on all replicas except R.

Something very similar could happen for CL QUORUM.

This is a conscious design decision because a commit protocol would
constitute tight coupling between nodes, which goes against the Cassandra
philosophy. But unfortunately you do have to write your app with this case
in mind.


On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 8:22 PM, tijoriwala.ritesh <> wrote:

> Hi,
> I wanted to get details on how does cassandra do synchronous writes to W
> replicas (out of N)? Does it do a 2PC? If not, how does it deal with
> failures of of nodes before it gets to write to W replicas? If the
> orchestrating node cannot write to W nodes successfully, I guess it will
> fail the write operation but what happens to the completed writes on X (W >
> X) nodes?
> Thanks,
> Ritesh
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