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Node startup fails with "java.lang.AssertionError" while reading saved cache

Summary

A DataStax Enterprise node is unable to startup returning an AssertionError when reading the saved cache for a table.

Symptoms

Node startup fails reporting an error when reading the saved cache for a particular column family. Below is a sample exception stack trace from DSE 4.6.0:

 INFO [main] 2015-02-04 18:18:09,253 ColumnFamilyStore.java (line 249) Initializing itemsCF
 INFO [main] 2015-02-04 18:18:09,254 AutoSavingCache.java (line 114) reading saved cache /var/lib/cassandra/saved_caches/itemsCF-RowCache-b.db
 ERROR [main] 2015-02-04 18:18:09,256 CassandraDaemon.java (line 513) Exception encountered during startup
java.lang.AssertionError
 at org.apache.cassandra.cache.SerializingCacheProvider$RowCacheSerializer.serialize(SerializingCacheProvider.java:41)
 at org.apache.cassandra.cache.SerializingCacheProvider$RowCacheSerializer.serialize(SerializingCacheProvider.java:37)
 at org.apache.cassandra.cache.SerializingCache.serialize(SerializingCache.java:118)
 at org.apache.cassandra.cache.SerializingCache.put(SerializingCache.java:177)
 at org.apache.cassandra.cache.InstrumentingCache.put(InstrumentingCache.java:44)
 at org.apache.cassandra.cache.AutoSavingCache.loadSaved(AutoSavingCache.java:130)
 at org.apache.cassandra.db.ColumnFamilyStore.initRowCache(ColumnFamilyStore.java:592)
 at org.apache.cassandra.db.Keyspace.open(Keyspace.java:119)
 at org.apache.cassandra.db.Keyspace.open(Keyspace.java:92)
 at org.apache.cassandra.service.CassandraDaemon.setup(CassandraDaemon.java:305)
 at com.datastax.bdp.server.DseDaemon.setup(DseDaemon.java:419)
 at org.apache.cassandra.service.CassandraDaemon.activate(CassandraDaemon.java:496)
 at com.datastax.bdp.server.DseDaemon.main(DseDaemon.java:659)
 INFO [Thread-2] 2015-02-04 18:18:09,259 DseDaemon.java (line 505) DSE shutting down...

Cause

This is a known issue which has been fixed in Cassandra versions 2.0.15 and 2.1.5.

The node fails to startup due to a table cache(s) being corrupt.

The cache could get corrupted for various reasons including a node temporarily running out of disk space, a change to the cluster configuration or an unexpected server reboot.

Solution

Follow these steps to resolve this issue:

Step 1 - On the affected node, delete the contents of the saved_caches directory.

Step 2 - Start DSE on the node.

See also

See JIRA [CASSANDRA-8740] for details of the defect.

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