Couple of thoughts:
1. Hardware
            Definitely dual quad core
            12 X 4 DIMMS. This is the sweet spot for memory. I have many
machines with this config and some with the 12 X 2 configs
            I haven¹t found the need for SATA and the higher price
            Make sure you get good NICs
            Are you using any virtualization layer ? I assume these are bare
metal with Ubuntu or RedHat.
    2. Scaling
            Naturally you should look at horizontal scaling than vertical.
            An estimate of the application characteristics and data
properties would be helpful to get a first estimate
            I think eventually you will end up with multiple boxes anyway,
so my philosophy has been to buy multiple optimal boxes
            We are working on scaling characteristics (memory, network and
storage), unfortunately way too early to make any inferences
On 3/5/10 Fri Mar 5, 10, "Rosenberry, Eric" <>

> I am looking for advice from others that are further along in deploying
> Cassandra in production environments than we are.  I want to know what you are
> finding your bottlenecks to be.  I would feel silly purchasing dual processor
> quad core 2.93ghz Nehalem machines with 192 gigs of RAM just to find out that
> the two local SATA disks kept all that CPU and RAM from being useful (clearly
> that example would be a dumb).
> I need to spec out hardware for an ³optimal² Cassandra node (though our
> read/write characteristics are not yet fully defined so let¹s go with an
> ³average² configuration).
> My main concern is finding the right balance of:
> ·        Available CPU
> ·        RAM amount
> ·        RAM speed (think Nehalem architecture where memory comes in a few
> speeds, though I doubt this is much of a concern as it is mainly dictated by
> which processor you buy and how many slots you populate)
> ·        Total iops available (i.e. number of disks)
> ·        Total disk space available (depending on the ratio of iops/space
> deciding on SAS vs. SATA and various rotational speeds)
> My current thinking is 1U boxes with four 3.5 inch disks since that seems to
> be a readily available config.  One big question is should I go with a single
> processor Nehalem system to go with those four disks, or would two CPU¹s be
> useful, and also, how much RAM is appropriate to match?  I am making the
> assumption that Cassandra nodes are going to be disk bound as they must do a
> random read to answer any given query (i.e. indexes in RAM, but all data lives
> on disk?).
> The other big decision is what type of hard disks others are finding to
> provide the optimal ratio of iops to available space?  SAS or SATA?  And what
> rotational speed?
> Let me throw out here an actual hardware config and feel free to tell me the
> error of my ways:
> ·        A SuperMicro SuperServer 6016T-NTRF configured as follows:
> o  2.26 ghz E5520 dual processor quad core hyperthreaded Nehalem architecture
> (this proc provides a lot of bang for the buck, faster procs get more
> expensive quickly)
> o  Qty 12, 4 gig 1066mhz DIMMS for a total of 48 gigs RAM (the 4 gig DIMMS
> seem to be the price sweet spot)
> o  Dual on board 1 gigabit NIC¹s (perhaps one for client connections and the
> other for cluster communication?)
> o  Dual power supplies (I don¹t want to lose half my cluster due to a failure
> on one power leg)
> o  4x 1TB SATA disks (this is a complete SWAG)
> o  No RAID controller (all just single individual disks presented to the OS) ­
> Though is there any down side to using a RAID controller with RAID 0 (perhaps
> one single disk for the log for sequential io¹s, and 3x disks in a stripe for
> the random io¹s)
> o  The on-board IPMI based OOB controller (so we can kick the boxes remotely
> if need be)
> ·
> I can¹t help but think the above config has way too much RAM and CPU and not
> enough iops capacity.  My understanding is that Cassandra does not cache much
> in RAM though?
> Any thoughts are appreciated.  Thanks.
> -Eric
> _______________________________________________________________
> Eric Rosenberry
> Sr. Infrastructure Architect | Chief Bit Plumber
> iovation
> 111 SW Fifth Avenue
> Suite 3200
> Portland, OR 97204
> <>
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