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From Ben Bromhead <>
Subject Re: Which of these VPS configurations would perform better for Cassandra ?
Date Mon, 05 Aug 2013 01:02:06 GMT
If you want to get a rough idea of how things will perform, fire up YCSB (
and run the tests that closest match how you think your workload will be (run the test clients
from a couple of beefy AWS spot-instances for less than a dollar). As you are a new startup
without any existing load/traffic patterns, benchmarking will be your best bet.

As a have a look at running Cassandra with SmartOS on Joyent. When you run SmartOS on Joyent
virtualisation is done using solaris zones, an OS based virtualisation, which is at least
a quadrillion times better than KVM, xen etc. 

Ok maybe not that much… but it is pretty cool and has the following benefits:

- No hardware emulation.
- Shared kernel with the host (you don't have to waste precious memory running a guest os).
- ZFS :)

Have a read of for more info.

There are some downsides as well:

The version of Cassandra that comes with the SmartOS package management system is old and
busted, so you will want to build from source. 
You will want to be technically confident in running on something a little outside the norm
(SmartOS is based on Solaris).

Just make sure you test and benchmark all your options, a few days of testing now will save
you weeks of pain.

Good luck!

Ben Bromhead
Instaclustr | | @instaclustr 

On 05/08/2013, at 12:34 AM, David Schairer <> wrote:

> Of course -- my point is simply that if you're looking for speed, SSD+KVM, especially
in a shared tenant situation, is unlikely to perform the way you want to.  If you're building
a pure proof of concept that never stresses the system, it doesn't matter, but if you plan
an MVP with any sort of scale, you'll want a plan to be on something more robust.  
> I'll also say that it's really important (imho) to be doing even your dev in a config
where you have consistency conditions like eventual production -- so make sure you're writing
to both nodes and can have cases where eventual consistency delays kick in, or it'll come
back to bite you later -- I've seen this force people to redesign their whole data model when
they don't plan for it initially.  
> As I said, I haven't tested DO.  I've tested very similar configurations at other providers
and they were all terrible under load -- and certainly took away most of the benefits of SSD
once you stressed writes a bit.  XEN+SSD, on modern kernels, should work better, but I didn't
test it (linode doesn't offer this, though, and they've had lots of other challenges of late).
> --DRS
> On Aug 3, 2013, at 11:40 PM, Ertio Lew <> wrote:
>> @David:
>> Like all other start-ups, we too cannot start with all dedicated servers for Cassandra.
So right now we have no better choice except for using a VPS :), but we can definitely choose
one from amongst a suitable set of VPS configurations. As of now since we are starting out,
could we initiate our cluster with 2 nodes(RF=2), (KVM, 2GB ram, 2 cores, 30GB SDD) . Right
now we wont we having a very heavy load on Cassandra until a next few months till we grow
our user base. So, this choice is mainly based on the pricing vs configuration as well as
digital ocean's good reputation in the community.
>> On Sun, Aug 4, 2013 at 12:53 AM, David Schairer <> wrote:
>> I've run several lab configurations on linodes; I wouldn't run cassandra on any shared
virtual platform for large-scale production, just because your IO performance is going to
be really hard to predict.  Lots of people do, though -- depends on your cassandra loads and
how consistent you need to have performance be, as well as how much of your working set will
fit into memory.  Remember that linode significantly oversells their CPU as well.
>> The release version of KVM, at least as of a few months ago, still doesn't support
TRIM on SSD; that, plus the fact that you don't know how others will use SSDs or if their
file systems will keep the SSDs healthy, means that SSD performance on KVM is going to be
highly unpredictable.  I have not tested digitalocean, but I did test several other KVM+SSD
shared-tenant hosting providers aggressively for cassandra a couple months ago; they all failed
>> Your mileage will vary considerably based on what you need out of cassandra, what
your data patterns look like, and how you configure your system.  That said, I would use xen
before KVM for high-performance IO.
>> I have not run Cassandra in any volume on Amazon -- lots of folks have, and may have
recommendations (including SSD) there for where it falls on the price/performance curve.
>> --DRS
>> On Aug 3, 2013, at 11:33 AM, Ertio Lew <> wrote:
>>> I am building a cluster(initially starting with a 2-3 nodes cluster). I have
came across two seemingly good options for hosting, Linode & Digital Ocean. VPS configuration
for both listed below:
>>> Linode:-
>>> ------------------
>>> XEN Virtualization
>>> 2 GB RAM
>>> 8 cores CPU (2x priority) (8 processor Xen instances)
>>> 96 GB Storage
>>> Digital Ocean:-
>>> -------------------------
>>> KVM Virtualization
>>> 2GB Memory
>>> 2 Cores
>>> 40GB **SSD Disk***
>>> Digitial Ocean's VPS is at half price of above listed Linode VPS,
>>> Could you clarify which of these two VPS would be better as Cassandra nodes ?

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