We are currently running a web application utilizing Cassandra on EC2. Given the recent outages experienced with Amazon, we want to consider expanding Cassandra across availability zones sooner rather than later.
We are trying to determine the optimal way to deploy Cassandra in this deployment. We are researching the NetworkTopologyStrategy, and the EC2Snitch. We are also interested in providing a high level of read or write consistency,
My understanding is that the EC2Snitch recognizes availability zones as racks, and regions as data-centers. This seems to be a common configuration. However, if we were to want to utilize queries with a READ or WRITE consistency of QUORUM, would there be a high possibility that the communication necessary to establish a quorum, across availability zones?
My understanding is that the NetworkTopologyStrategy attempts to prefer replicas be stored on other racks within the datacenter, which would equate to other availability zones in EC2. This implies to me that in order to have the quorum of nodes necessary to achieve consistency, that Cassandra will communicate with nodes across availability zones.
First, is my understanding correct? Second, given the high latency that can sometimes exists between availability zones, is this a problem, and instead we should treat availability zones as data centers?
Ideally, we would be able to setup a situation where we could store replicas across availability zones in case of failure, but establish a high level of read or write consistency within a single availability zone.
I appreciate your responses,