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From Dongfeng Lu <>
Subject Re: How to remove huge files with all expired data sooner?
Date Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:31:02 GMT
Thanks, Erick, Ken, and Jeff.


I thought about min_threshold. The document says it "Sets the minimum number of SSTables to
trigger a minor compaction." I thought removing those large files would be considered a major
compaction, and this parameter may not help. Am I wrong?

I also wondered what side effect it may have by lowering min_threshold value. Will there be
more compactions? I understand it is a balance sometimes to either have multiple small compactions
or a single big compaction. 

About your comment "never run nodetool compact". Is it what Cassandra does when it finally
compact those 4 files? I don't really see the difference between what Cassandra does programatically
and what if I run it once every two weeks to reclaim the disk space.


Interesting way to do it. I will think about it.


That would be an ideal solution. Actually I am planning to migrate to the latest 2.1 version,
and hopefully it will be solved then.

Thanks again, everyone, for your responses.


     On Monday, September 28, 2015 10:36 AM, Jeff Jirsa <>

 There’s a seldom discussed parameter called:
The documentation describes the option as follows:

| True enables more aggressive than normal tombstone compactions. A single SSTable tombstone
compaction runs without checking the likelihood of success. Cassandra 2.0.9 and later.

You’d need to upgrade to newer than 2.0.9, but by doing so, and enabling unchecked_tombstone_compaction,
you could encourage cassandra to compact just one single large sstable to purge tombstones.

From:  <> on behalf of Erick Ramirez
Reply-To:  ""
Date:  Sunday, September 27, 2015 at 11:59 PM
To:  "", Dongfeng Lu
Subject:  Re: How to remove huge files with all expired data sooner?

You should never run `nodetool compact` since this will result in a massive SSTable that will
almost never get compacted out or take a very long time to get compacted out.
You are correct that there needs to be 4 similar-sized SSTables for them to get compacted.
If you want the expired data to be deleted quicker, try lowering the STCS `min_threshold`
to 3 or even 2. Good luck!


On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 4:40 AM, Dongfeng Lu <> wrote:

Hi I have a table where I set TTL to only 7 days for all records and we keep pumping records
in every day. In general, I would expect all data files for that table to have timestamps
less than, say 8 or 9 days old, giving the system some time to work its magic. However, I
see some files more than 9 days old occationally. Last Friday, I saw 4 large files, each about
10G in size, with timestamps about 5, 4, 3, 2 weeks old. Interestingly they are all gone this
Monday, leaving 1 new file 9 GB in size.

The compaction strategy is SizeTieredCompactionStrategy, and I can understand why the above
happened. It seems we have 10G of data every week and when SizeTieredCompactionStrategy works
to create various tiers, it just happened the file size for the next tier is 10G, and all
the data is packed into this huge file. Then it starts the next cycle. Another week goes by,
and another 10G file is created. This process continues until the minimum number of files
of the same size is reached, which I think is 4 by default. Then it started to compact this
set of 4 10G files. At this time, all data in these 4 files have expired so we end up with
nothing or much smaller file if there is still some records with TTL left.

I have many tables like this, and I'd like to reclaim those spaces sooner. What would be the
best way to do it? Should I run "nodetool compact" when I see two large files that are 2 weeks
old? Is there configuration parameters I can tune to achieve the same effect? I looked through
all the CQL Compaction Subproperties for STCS, but I am not sure how they can help here. Any
suggestion is welcome.

BTW, I am using Cassandra 2.0.6.

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