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From "Christopher Wirt" <>
Subject RE: disappointed
Date Wed, 24 Jul 2013 11:12:34 GMT
Hi Paul,


Sorry to hear you're having a low point.


We ended up not using the collection features of 1.2. 

Instead storing a compressed string containing the map and handling client


We only have fixed schema short rows so no experience with large row


File descriptors have never got that high for us. But, if you only have a
couple physical nodes with loads of data and small ss-tables maybe they
could get that high?


Only time I've had file descriptors get out of hand was then compaction got
slightly confused with a new schema when I dropped and recreated instead of
truncating. restarting
the node fixed the issue.



>From my limited experience I think Cassandra is a dangerous choice for an
young limited funding/experience start-up expecting to scale fast. We are a
fairly mature start-up with funding. We've just spent 3-5 months moving from
Mongo to Cassandra. It's been expensive and painful getting Cassandra to
read like Mongo, but we've made it J





From: Paul Ingalls [] 
Sent: 24 July 2013 06:01
Subject: disappointed


I want to check in.  I'm sad, mad and afraid.  I've been trying to get a 1.2
cluster up and working with my data set for three weeks with no success.
I've been running a 1.1 cluster for 8 months now with no hiccups, but for me
at least 1.2 has been a disaster.  I had high hopes for leveraging the new
features of 1.2, specifically vnodes and collections.   But at this point I
can't release my system into production, and will probably need to find a
new back end.  As a small startup, this could be catastrophic.  I'm mostly
mad at myself.  I took a risk moving to the new tech.  I forgot sometimes
when you gamble, you lose.


First, the performance of 1.2.6 was horrible when using collections.  I
wasn't able to push through 500k rows before the cluster became unusable.
With a lot of digging, and way too much time, I discovered I was hitting a
bug that had just been fixed, but was unreleased.  This scared me, because
the release was already at 1.2.6 and I would have expected something as would have been
addressed long before.  But gamely I grabbed the latest code from the 1.2
branch, built it and I was finally able to get past half a million rows.  


But, then I hit ~4 million rows, and a multitude of problems.  Even with the
fix above, I was still seeing a ton of compactions failing, specifically the
ones for large rows.  Not a single large row will compact, they all assert
with the wrong size.  Worse, and this is what kills the whole thing, I keep
hitting a wall with open files, even after dumping the whole DB, dropping
vnodes and trying again.  Seriously, 650k open file descriptors?  When it
hits this limit, the whole DB craps out and is basically unusable.  This
isn't that many rows.  I have close to a half a billion in 1.1.


I'm now at a standstill.  I figure I have two options unless someone here
can help me.  Neither of them involve 1.2.  I can either go back to 1.1 and
remove the features that collections added to my service, or I find another
data backend that has similar performance characteristics to cassandra but
allows collections type behavior in a scalable manner.  Cause as far as I
can tell, 1.2 doesn't scale.  Which makes me sad, I was proud of what I
accomplished with 1.1..


Does anyone know why there are so many open file descriptors?  Any ideas on
why a large row won't compact?



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