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From Julie <>
Subject Re: Cassandra disk space utilization WAY higher than I would expect
Date Tue, 27 Jul 2010 18:08:58 GMT
Peter Schuller <peter.schuller <at>> writes:

> > a) cleanup is a superset of compaction, so if you've been doing
> > overwrites at all then it will reduce space used for that reason

Hi Peter and Jonathan,

In my test, I write 80,000 rows (100KB each row) to an 8 node cluster.  The
80,000 rows all have unique keys '1' through '80000' so no overwriting is
occurring.  I also don't do any deletes.  I simply write the 80,000 rows to 
the 8 node cluster which should be about 1GB of data times 3 (replication 
factor=3) on each node.  

The only thing I am doing special, is I use Random Partitioning and set the
Initial Token on each node to try to get the data evenly distributed:

    # Create tokens for the RandomPartitioner that evenly divide token space
    # The RandomPatitioner hashes keys into integer tokens in the range 0 to
    # 2^127.
    # So we simply divide that space into N equal sections.
    # serverCount = the number of Cassandra nodes in the cluster

    for ((ii=1; ii<=serverCount; ii++)); do
        echo Generating InitialToken for server on $host
        echo host=$host initialToken=$token
        echo "<InitialToken>$token</InitialToken>" >> storage-conf-node.xml
        cat storage-conf-node.xml

24 hours after my writes, the data is evenly distributed according to 
cfstats (I see almost identical numRows from node to node) but there is 
a lot of extra disk space being used on some nodes, again according to 
cfstats.  This disk usage drops back down to 2.7GB (exactly what I expect 
since that's how much raw data is on each node) when I run "nodetool 

I am confused why there is anything to clean up 24 hours after my last 
write? All nodes in the cluster are fully up and aware of each other 
before I begin the writes.  The only other thing that could possibly be
considered unusual is I cycle through all 8 nodes, rather than 
communicating with a single Cassandra node.  I use a write consistency 
setting of ALL.  I can't see how these would increase the amount of disk 
space used but just mentioning it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,

Peter Schuller <peter.schuller <at>> writes:

> > a) cleanup is a superset of compaction, so if you've been doing
> > overwrites at all then it will reduce space used for that reason
> I had failed to consider over-writes as a possible culprit (since
> removals were stated not to be done). However thinking about it I
> believe the effect of this should be limited to roughly a doubling of
> disk space in the absolute worst case of over-writing all data in the
> absolute worst possible order (such as writing everything twice in the
> same order).
> Or more accurately, it should be limited to wasting as much as space
> as the size of the overwritten values. If you're overwriting with
> larger values, it will no longer be a "doubling" relative to the
> actual live data set.
> Julie, did you do over-writes or was your disk space measurements
> based on the state of the cluster after an initial set of writes of
> unique values?

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