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From Michael Kjellman <>
Subject Re: inconsistent hadoop/cassandra results
Date Fri, 11 Jan 2013 04:10:05 GMT
I found that overall Hadoop input/output from Cassandra could use a little more QA and input
from the community. (Especially with large datasets). There were some serious BOF bugs in
1.1 that have been resolved in 1.2. (Yay!) But, the problems in 1.1 weren't immediately apparent.
Testing in my dev environment with 3000 records everything worked fine. 28 million records
and distributed... Unfortunately things were not fine (until fixes in 1.2!)

It took a ton of debugging on my side, and for a while I told myself it was my fault when
things weren't working.... :)

I would throw some debug stdout lines into a Hadoop MR build (unrelated -- when building Hadoop
it still requires jdk5 for Forrest to build as of 1.0.3). Just start with a simple MR job
that outputs the same thing to another CF gave as the input.
has a MultipleOutput job (should be easy to adapt to one CF to do testing pretty easily)

Also throw some debug into ColumnInputFormat obviously. Debugging Hadoop distributed while
Cassandra is distributed too makes understanding the logic path really hard IMHO. I got lost
in debugger hell and found stdout logging was the only real way to figure out what was going

We don't use wide rows, so I'm not much help with the root of your question, but I've debugged
Hadoop with Cassandra quite a bit... Just just sounds like a bug to me not anything you are
doing incorrectly. Anyone else in the community using wide rows and Hadoop?

QUORUM for us is consistent for ColumnInputFormat in 1.1 but again this is without wide rows.


On Jan 10, 2013, at 7:46 PM, "aaron morton" <<>>

But this is the first time I've tried to use the
wide-row support, which makes me a little suspicious. The wide-row support is not
very well documented, so maybe I'm doing something wrong there in ignorance.
This was the area I was thinking about.

Can you drill in and see a pattern.
Are the differences in rows that would be paged by wide rows ?
Could it be an off by one error in the wide row paging ?

It all sounds strange. So I would make sure what your job is outputing matches what it is
reading from C*. Maybe add some logging in there.


Aaron Morton
Freelance Cassandra Developer
New Zealand


On 10/01/2013, at 1:24 AM, Brian Jeltema <<>>

Sorry if this is a duplicate - I was having mailer problems last night:

Assuming their were no further writes, running repair or using CL all should have fixed it.

Can you describe the inconsistency between runs?

Sure. The job output is generated by a single reducer and consists of a list of
key/value pairs where the key is the row key of the original table, and the value is
the total count of all columns in the row. Each run produces a file with a different
size, and running a diff against various output file pairs displays rows that only
appear in one file, or rows with the same key but different counts.

What seems particularly hard to explain is the behavior after setting CL to ALL,
where the results eventually become reproducible (making it hard to place the
blame on my trivial mapper/reducer implementations) but only after about half a
dozen runs. And once reaching this state, setting CL to QUORUM results in
additional inconsistent results.

I can say with certainty that there were no other writes. I'm the sole developer working
with the CF in question. I haven't seen behavior like this before, though I don't have
a tremendous amount of experience. But this is the first time I've tried to use the
wide-row support, which makes me a little suspicious. The wide-row support is not
very well documented, so maybe I'm doing something wrong there in ignorance.



Aaron Morton
Freelance Cassandra Developer
New Zealand


On 8/01/2013, at 2:16 AM, Brian Jeltema <<>>

I need some help understanding unexpected behavior I saw in some recent experiments with Cassandra
1.1.5 and Hadoop 1.0.3:

I've written a small map/reduce job that simply counts the number of columns in each row of
a static CF (call it Foo)
and generates a list of every row and column count. A relatively small fraction of the rows
have a large number
of columns; worst case is approximately 36 million. So when I set up the job, I used wide-row

    ConfigHelper.setInputColumnFamily(job.getConfiguration(), "fooKS", "Foo", WIDE_ROWS);
// where WIDE_ROWS == true

When I ran this job using the default CL (1) I noticed that the results varied from run to
run, which I attributed to inconsistent
replicas, since Foo was generated with CL == 1 and the RF == 3.

So I ran repair for that CF on every node. The cassandra log on every node contains lines
similar to:

  INFO [AntiEntropyStage:1] 2013-01-05 20:38:48,605 (line 778) [repair
#e4a1d7f0-579d-11e2-0000-d64e0a75e6df] Foo is fully synced

However, repeated runs were still inconsistent. Then I set CL to ALL, which I presumed would
always result in identical
output, but repeated runs initially continued to be inconsistent. However, I noticed that
the results seemed to
be converging, and after several runs (somewhere between 4 and 6) I finally was producing
identical results on every run.
Then I set CL to QUORUM, and again generated inconsistent results.

Does this behavior make sense?


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