The documentation in the cassandra.yaml file covers this pretty well.

In summary, a snapshot will create a hard link for each file in the data directory (if JNA is installed and on the classpath).

Turning on incremental backup will create a hard link to every new SSTable that is flushed out to disk. Together a snapshot and a set of incrementals can allow you to recover to a specific point in time.

On Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 11:39 PM, Tamar Fraenkel <> wrote:
I wonder what are the advantages of doing incremental snapshot over non incremental?
Are the snapshots smaller is size? Are there any other implications?

Tamar Fraenkel 
Senior Software Engineer, TOK Media 

Ben Coverston
DataStax -- The Apache Cassandra Company