Adding a data center to a cluster

Steps to add a data center to an existing cluster.

Steps to add a data center to an existing cluster.


  1. Ensure that you are using NetworkTopologyStrategy for all of your keyspaces.
  2. For each node, set the following properties in the cassandra.yaml file:
    1. Add (or edit) auto_bootstrap: false.

      By default, this setting is true and not listed in the cassandra.yaml file. Setting this parameter to false prevents the new nodes from attempting to get all the data from the other nodes in the data center. When you run nodetool rebuild in the last step, each node is properly mapped.

    2. Set other properties, such as -seeds and listen_address, to match the cluster settings.
    3. If you want to enable vnodes, set num_tokens.
  3. If using the PropertyFileSnitch, update the file on all servers to include the new nodes. You do not need to restart.
  4. Ensure that your clients are configured correctly for the new cluster.
    1. If your client uses the DataStax Java, C#, or Python driver, set the load-balancing policy to DCAwareRoundRobinPolicy (Java, C#, Python).
    2. If you are using another client such as Hector, make sure it does not auto-detect the new nodes so that they aren't contacted by the client until explicitly directed. For example if you are using Hector, use sethostConfig.setAutoDiscoverHosts(false);. If you are using Astyanax, use ConnectionPoolConfigurationImpl.setLocalDatacenter("<data center name">) to ensure you are connecting to the specified data center.
    3. If you are using Astyanax 2.x, with integration with the DataStax Java Driver 2.0, you can set the load-balancing policy to DCAwareRoundRobinPolicy by calling JavaDriverConfigBuilder.withLoadBalancingPolicy().
      AstyanaxContext<Keyspace> context = new AstyanaxContext.Builder()
          .withConnectionPoolConfiguration( new JavaDriverConfigBuilder()
              .withLoadBalancingPolicy(new TokenAwarePolicy(new DCAwareRoundRobinPolicy()))
  5. If using a QUORUM consistency level for reads or writes, check the LOCAL_QUORUM or EACH_QUORUM consistency level to see if the level meets your requirements for multiple data centers.
  6. Start Cassandra on the new nodes.
  7. After all nodes are running in the cluster:
    1. Change the keyspace options to specify the desired replication factor for the new data center. For example: set strategy options to DC1:2, DC2:2. For more information, see ALTER KEYSPACE.
    2. Run nodetool rebuild specifying the existing data center on all nodes in the new data center:
      nodetool rebuild -- name_of_existing_data_center
      Attention: If you don't specify the existing data center in the command line, the new nodes will appear to rebuild successfully, but will not contain any data.