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From Matija Gobec <>
Subject Re: About Tombstones and TTLs
Date Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:39:08 GMT

gc_grace_seconds is used to maintain data consistency in some failure
scenarios. When manually deleting data that action creates tombstones which
are kept for that defined period before being compacted. If one of the
replica nodes is down while deleting data and it gets back up after the
gc_grace_seconds defined period your previously delete data will reappear
(ghost data). As it is stated in datastax documentation on a single node
you can set gc_grace_seconds to 0 and you can do the same for tables that
contain only data with TTL. In the mentioned failure scenario your downed
node will have data with TTL information and no data inconsistency will

On Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 1:00 PM, Shalom Sagges <>

> Hi Everyone,
> I was reading a blog on TWCS by Alex Dejanovski from The Last Pickle (
> When I got to the comments section, I didn't understand why setting
> gc_grace_seconds to 0 will disable hints for the associated table:
> *"It is a very good point that gc_grace_seconds shouldn't be lowered too
> much as its impact on hinted handoff is not a well known fact, and using a
> value of 0 will purely disable hints on the table."*
> When I tried to read some more about deletes and TTLs, I got to a Datastax
> documentation
> cassandra/dml/dmlAboutDeletes.html
> stating the following:
> *Cassandra allows you to set a default_time_to_live property for an entire
> table. Columns and rows marked with regular TTLs are processed as described
> above; but when a record exceeds the table-level TTL, Cassandra deletes it
> immediately, without tombstoning or compaction.*
> Which got me a bit more confused.
> So I hope someone can shed some light on some questions I've got:
>    - Why setting gc_grace_seconds=0 will disable hints for the table?
>    - How can an expired TTL record be deleted by Cassandra without
>    tombstoning or compaction? Aren't SSTables immutable files, and expired
>    records are removed through compaction?
>    - If I only use TTL for deletion, do I still need gc_grace_seconds to
>    be bigger than 0?
>    - If I only use TTL for deletion, but use updates as well, do I need
>    gc_grace_seconds to be bigger than 0?
> Sorry for all those questions, I'm just really confused from all the
> TTL/tombstones subject (still a newbie).
> Thanks a lot!
> Shalom Sagges
> T: +972-74-700-4035 <+972%2074-700-4035>
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