The GossipingPropertyFileSnitch defines a local node's data center and rack; it uses gossip for propagating this information to other nodes. The conf/cassandra-rackdc.properties file defines the default data center and rack used by this snitch:
dc =DC1 rack =RAC1
To migrate from the PropertyFileSnitch to the GossipingPropertyFileSnitch, update one node at a time to allow gossip time to propagate. The PropertyFileSnitch is used as a fallback when cassandra-topologies.properties is present.