I've started to use LeveledCompaction some time ago and from my experience this indicates some SST on lower levels than they should be. The compaction is going, moving them up level by level, but total count does not change as new data goes in.
The numbers are pretty high as for me. Such numbers mean a lot of files (over 100K in single directory) and a lot of thinking for compaction executor to decide what to compact next. I can see numbers like 5K-10K and still thing this is high number. If I were you, I'd increase sstable_size_in_mb 10-20 times it is now.

2012/9/17 Michael Kjellman <mkjellman@barracuda.com>
Hi All,

I have an issue where each one of my nodes (currently all running at 1.1.5) is reporting around 30,000 pending compactions. I understand that a pending compaction doesn't necessarily mean it is a scheduled task however I'm confused why this behavior is occurring. It is the same on all nodes, occasionally goes down 5k pending compaction tasks, and then returns to 25,000-35,000 compaction tasks pending.

I have tried a repair operation/scrub operation on two of the nodes and while compactions initially happen the number of pending compactions does not decrease.

Any ideas? Thanks for your time.

Best,
michael


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 Vitalii Tymchyshyn