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From <>
Subject RE: Secondary Index on table with a lot of data crashes Cassandra
Date Thu, 25 Apr 2013 08:32:10 GMT
IMHO: user_name is not a column, it is the row key. Therefore, according to
, the row does not contain a relevant column index, which causes the iterator to read each
column (including value) of each row.

I believe that instead of referring to user_name as if it were a column, you need to refer
to it via the reserved word "KEY", e.g.:

Select KEY from users where status = 2;

Always glad to share a theory with a friend....

From: Tamar Rosen []
Sent: Thursday, April 25, 2013 11:04 AM
Subject: Secondary Index on table with a lot of data crashes Cassandra


We have a case of a reproducible crash, probably due to out of memory, but I don't understand

The installation is currently single node.

We have a column family with approx 50000 rows.

In cql, the CF definition is:


  user_name text PRIMARY KEY,

  big_json text,

  status int


Each big_json can have 500K or more of data.

There is also a secondary index on the status column.

Status can have various values, over 90% of all rows have status = 2.


Select user_name from users limit 80000;

Is pretty fast


Select user_name from users where status = 1;

is slower, even though much less data is returned.


Select user_name from users where status = 2;

Always crashes.

What are we doing wrong? Can it be that Cassandra is actually trying to read all the CF data
rather than just the keys! (actually, it doesn't need to go to the users CF at all - all the
data it needs is in the index CF)

Also, in the code I am doing the same using Astyanax index query with pagination, and the
behavior is the same.

Please help me:

1. solve the immediate issue

2. understand if there is something in this use case which indicates that we are not using
Cassandra the way it is meant.


Tamar Rosen


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