Adding nodes to vnode-enabled cluster

Steps to add nodes to a datacenter in an existing vnode-enabled cluster.

Virtual nodes (vnodes) greatly simplify adding nodes to an existing cluster:

  • Calculating tokens and assigning them to each node is no longer required.
  • Rebalancing the nodes within a datacenter is no longer necessary because a node joining the datacenter assumes responsibility for an even portion of the data.

For a detailed explanation about how vnodes work, see Virtual nodes.

CAUTION: When adding multiple nodes to the cluster using the allocation algorithm, ensure that nodes are added one at a time. If nodes are added concurrently, the algorithm assigns the same tokens to different nodes.
Note: If you do not use vnodes, see Adding single-token nodes to a cluster.


The location of the cassandra.yaml file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/cassandra/cassandra.yaml
Tarball installations installation_location/resources/cassandra/conf/cassandra.yaml

The location of the file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/cassandra/
Tarball installations installation_location/resources/cassandra/conf/

The location of the file depends on the type of installation:
Package installations /etc/dse/cassandra/
Tarball installation installation_location/resources/cassandra/conf/


Be sure to use the same version of DataStax Enterprise on all nodes in the cluster, as described in the installation instructions.
  1. Install DataStax Enterprise on the new nodes, but do not start DataStax Enterprise.
    Warning: If your DataStax Enterprise installation started automatically, you must stop the node and clear the data.
  2. Copy the snitch properties file from another node in the same center datacenter to the node you are adding.
  3. Set the following properties in the cassandra.yaml file:

    Manually add the auto_bootstrap setting if it does not exist in the cassandra.yaml. The other settings should exist in the default cassandra.yaml file, ensure that you uncomment and set.

    Warning: Seed nodes cannot bootstrap. Make sure the new node is not listed in the -seeds list. Do not make all nodes seed nodes. See Internode communications (gossip).
  4. Change any other non-default settings you have made to your existing cluster in the cassandra.yaml file and or files. Use the diff command to find and merge any differences between existing and new nodes.
  5. Start the bootstrap node, see Starting DataStax Enterprise as a service or Starting DataStax Enterprise as a stand-alone process.
  6. Verify that the node is fully bootstrapped using nodetool status. All other nodes must be up (UN) and not in any other state.
  7. After all new nodes are running, run nodetool cleanup on each of the previously existing nodes to remove the keys that no longer belong to those nodes. Wait for cleanup to complete on one node before running nodetool cleanup on the next node.
    Important: Failure to run nodetool cleanup after adding a node may result in data inconsistencies including resurrection of previously deleted data.