Benedict commented on CASSANDRA-15263:

Thanks [~ferozshaik...@gmail.com].  I can see what's happening now, and it 
looks benign.  It should resolve when you finish upgrading the nodes in your 

The error is caused by the rare scenario of the rows not using all of the 
declared clustering columns, which inserts a {{null}} clustering value for 
{{column2}}.  It was not thought by the author of the legacy converter that a 
RT clustering component could be {{null}}, and they would have ordinarily been 
correct as row deletions are no longer stored as range tombstones in 3.0, 
however synthetic range tombstone bounds can be built from row clusterings, and 
since the row has a null component, the synthetic RT does also.  

The fix for 3.0 would be simple, namely to ignore the {{null}} value when 
computing a digest, however it looks like this {{null}} is also incompatible 
with 2.1, since it could legitimately never arise there, without the new 
machinery of 3.0 that synthesises them.  So sending this synthetic clustering 
to a 2.1 node could be more harmful than throwing this exception.

I will have to think about the best recourse to address this in 3.0 without 
adversely impacting a 2.1 node.

> LegacyLayout RangeTombstoneList throws java.lang.NullPointerException: null
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: CASSANDRA-15263
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CASSANDRA-15263
>             Project: Cassandra
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: Cluster/Schema
>            Reporter: feroz shaik
>            Assignee: Benedict
>            Priority: Normal
>              Labels: 2.1.16, 3.11.4
>         Attachments: sample.system.log, schema.txt, 
> sstabledump_sal_purge_d03.json, sstablemetadata_sal_purge_d03, 
> stack_trace.txt, system.log, system.log, system.log, system.log, 
> system_latest.log
> We have  hit a problem today while upgrading from 2.1.16 to 3.11.4.
> we encountered this as soon as the first node started up with 3.11.4 
> The full error stack is attached - [^stack_trace.txt] 
> The below errors continued in the log file as long as the process was up.
> ERROR [Native-Transport-Requests-12] 2019-08-06 03:00:47,135 
> ErrorMessage.java:384 - Unexpected exception during request
>  java.lang.NullPointerException: null
>  ERROR [Native-Transport-Requests-8] 2019-08-06 03:00:48,778 
> ErrorMessage.java:384 - Unexpected exception during request
>  java.lang.NullPointerException: null
>  ERROR [Native-Transport-Requests-13] 2019-08-06 03:00:57,454 
> The nodetool version says 3.11.4 and the no of connections on native por t- 
> 9042 was similar to other nodes. The exceptions were scary that we had to 
> call off the change. Any help and insights to this problem from the community 
> is appreciated.

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