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From "Jack Krupansky" <>
Subject Re: horizontal query scaling issues follow on
Date Fri, 18 Jul 2014 04:19:15 GMT
Sorry I may have confused the discussion by mentioning tokens – I wasn’t intending to refer
to vnodes or the num_tokens property, but merely referring to the token range of a node and
that the partition key hashes to a token value.

The main question is what you use for your primary key and whether you are using a small number
of partition keys and a large number of clustering columns, or does each row have a unique
partition key and no clustering columns.

-- Jack Krupansky

From: Diane Griffith 
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 6:21 PM
To: user 
Subject: Re: horizontal query scaling issues follow on

So do partitions equate to tokens/vnodes? 

If so we had configured all cluster nodes/vms with num_tokens: 256 instead of setting init_token
and assigning ranges.  I am still not getting why in Cassandra 2.0, I would assign my own
ranges via init_token and this was based on the documentation and even this blog item that
made it seem right for us to always configure our cluster vms with num_tokens: 256 in the
cassandra.yaml file.  

Also in all testing, all vms were of equal sizing so one was not more powerful than another.

I didn't think I was hitting an i/o wall on the client vm (separate vm) where we command line
scripted our query call to the cassandra cluster.    I can break the client call load across
vms which I tried early on.  Happy to verify that again though.

So given that I was assuming the partitions were such that it wasn't a problem.  Is that an
incorrect assumption and something to dig into more?


On Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Jack Krupansky <> wrote:

  How many partitions are you spreading those 18 million rows over? That many rows in a single
partition will not be a sweet spot for Cassandra. It’s not exceeding any hard limit (2 billion),
but some internal operations may cache the partition rather than the logical row.

  And all those rows in a single partition would certainly not be a test of “horizontal
scaling” (adding nodes to handle more data – more token values or partitions.)

  -- Jack Krupansky

  From: Diane Griffith 
  Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2014 1:33 PM
  To: user 
  Subject: horizontal query scaling issues follow on

  This is a follow on re-post to clarify what we are trying to do, providing information that
was missing or not clear.

  Goal:  Verify horizontal scaling for random non duplicating key reads using the simplest
configuration (or minimal configuration) possible.


  A couple years ago we did similar performance testing with Cassandra for both read and write
performance and found excellent (essentially linear) horizontal scalability.  That project
got put on hold.  We are now moving forward with an operational system and are having scaling

  During the prior testing (3 years ago) we were using a much older version of Cassandra (0.8
or older), the THRIFT API, and Amazon AWS rather than OpenStack VMs.  We are now using the
latest Cassandra and the CQL interface.  We did try moving from OpenStack to AWS/EC2 but that
did not materially change our (poor) results.

  Test Procedure:

    a.. Inserted 54 million cells in 18 million rows (so 3 cells per row), using randomly
generated row keys. That was to be our data control for the test. 
    b.. Spawn a client on a different VM to query 100k rows and do that for 100 reps.  Each
row key queried is drawn randomly from the set of existing row keys, and then not re-used,
so all 10 million row queries use a different (valid) row key.  This test is a specific use
case of our system we are trying to show will scale 

    a.. 2 nodes performed better than 1 node test but 4 nodes showed decreased performance
over 2 nodes.  So that did not show horizontal scaling 


    a.. We have replication factor set to 1 as we were trying to keep the control test simple
to prove out horizontal scaling.  
    b.. When we tried to add threading to see if it would help it had interesting side behavior
which did not prove out horizontal scaling. 
    c.. We are using CQL versus THRIFT API for Cassandra 2.0.6 

  Does anyone have any feedback that either threading or replication factor is necessary to
show horizontal scaling of Cassandra versus the minimal way of just continue to add nodes
to help throughput?

  Any suggestions of minimal configuration necessary to show scaling of our query use case
100k requests for random non repeating keys constantly coming in over a period of time?



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