I recently set up a 2 node cassandra cluster on dedicated hardware. In the logs there have been a lot of "InetAddress xxx is now dead' or UP messages. Comparing the log messages between the 2 nodes, they seem to coincide with extremely long ParNew collections. I have seem some of up to 50 seconds. The installation is pretty vanilla, I didn't change any settings and the machines don't seem particularly busy - cassandra is the only thing running on the machine with an 8GB heap. The machine has 64GB of RAM and CPU/IO usage looks pretty light. I do see a lot of 'Heap is xxx full. You may need to reduce memtable and/or cache sizes' messages. Would this help with the long ParNew collections? That message seems to be triggered on a full collection.