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From Aaron Morton <>
Subject Re: How to make use of Cassandra raw row keys?
Date Wed, 25 May 2011 04:07:50 GMT
The key printed in the DEBUG message is the byte array the server was given as the key converted
to hex. Your client API may have converted the string to ascii bytes before sending to the

e.g. here is me writing a 'foo' key to the server 
DEBUG 15:52:15,818 insert writing local RowMutation(keyspace='dev', key='666f6f', modifications=[data])

You can tell the CLI what data type the keys are, see the assume statement. e.g. assume my_cf
keys as ascii; Will tell the cli to convert them back to ascii for you.

Hope that helps. 
Aaron Morton
Freelance Cassandra Developer

On 25 May, 2011,at 03:17 PM, Suan Aik Yeo <> wrote:

We're using Cassandra to store our sessions, all in a single column family "Sessions" with
the format:
Sessions['session_key'] = {'val': <actual_value>}
(session_key is a randomly generated hash)

The "raw" keys I'm talking about are for example the 'key' value as seen from Cassandra DEBUG
insert writing local RowMutation(keyspace='my_keyspace', key='73657373696f6e3a6365613765323931353838616437343732363130646163666331643161393334',

Today we ran into a problem where a session with a given key (say "session:12345") seemingly
disappeared (at least it appeared that way to the client app), but in the server log DEBUG
output, the "raw" Cassandra key that seemed to correspond to that session_key (say "a12345f")
was still being used as evidenced by DEBUG log output. Indeed, none of the existing session_keys
corresponded to the "a12345f" raw key. However, in Cassandra-cli when I do the "list Sessions"
command, the "a12345f" raw key shows up as part of the output.

I'd like to dig further into the issue, but first I need to find out:
what are these keys and how are they determined?
Is there any way I could use them in querying Cassandra to find out what they're pointing
to? (Seems that even the cli expects the "session:12345" type key rather than raw ones when

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