This was a problem pre vnodes. I had several JIRA for that but some of them were voted down saying the performance will improve with vnodes. 
The main problem is that it streams one sstable at a time and not in parallel. 

Jira 4784 can speed up the bootstrap performance. You can also do a zero copy and not touch the caches of the nodes which are contributing in the build. 


https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CASSANDRA-4663
https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CASSANDRA-4784


On Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 7:35 AM, Mike Heffner <mike@librato.com> wrote:

On Mon, Jul 1, 2013 at 10:06 PM, Mike Heffner <mike@librato.com> wrote:

The only changes we've made to the config (aside from dirs/hosts) are:

Forgot to include we've changed this as well:

-partitioner: org.apache.cassandra.dht.Murmur3Partitioner
+partitioner: org.apache.cassandra.dht.RandomPartitioner
 

Cheers,

Mike
--

  Mike Heffner <mike@librato.com>
  Librato, Inc.