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DataStax's Amazon Machine Image is the quickest way to get a DataStax Community or DataStax Enterprise cluster up and running on EC2.


Use cassandralauncher as found and documented here:

This will ensure all options are processed correctly and easily.


##Basic AMI Switches:

--clustername <name>
    The name of the Cassandra cluster

--totalnodes <#>
    Cluster size

--version [ community | enterprise ]
    Installs either DataStax Enterprise or
    DataStax Community Edition

##DataStax Enterprise Specific:

--username <user>
    The username provided during DSE registration
    --password is REQUIRED in order to use this option
    REQUIRED for a DSE installation

--password <pass>
    The password provided during DSE registration
    --username is REQUIRED in order to use this option
    REQUIRED for a DSE installation

--analyticsnodes <#>
    Number of analytics nodes that run with Hadoop
    Default: 0

--searchnodes <#>
    Number of search nodes that run with Solr
    Default: 0


--release <release_version>
    Allows for the installation of a previous DSE version
    Example: 1.0.2-1
    Default: Ignored

--cfsreplicationfactor <#>
    The CFS replication factor
    Note: --cfsreplicationfactor must be <= --analyticsnodes
    Default: 1

--opscenter no
    Disables the installation of OpsCenter on the cluster
    Default: yes

--reflector <url>
    Allows you to use your own reflector

Ports Needed

Public Facing:
        22: Default SSH port
    DataStax Enterprise Specific:
        8012: Hadoop Job Tracker client port
        8983: Portfolio Demo and Solr website port
        50030: Hadoop Job Tracker website port
        50060: Hadoop Task Tracker website port
        8888: OpsCenter website port
        1024+: JMX reconnections
        7000: Cassandra intra-node port
        7199: Cassandra JMX monitoring port
        9160: Cassandra client port
    DataStax Enterprise Specific:
        9290: Hadoop thrift port
        50031: OpsCenter job tracker proxy
        61620: OpsCenter intra-node monitoring ports
        61621: OpsCenter agent port


Visit for full installation instructions.


To stop the service, simply run

sudo service <cassandra | dse> stop

To start the service again, simply run

sudo service <cassandra | dse> start

Implementation details

See FILES.txt for a description of how the scripts here configure the AMI.


  1. Backup all the data on all your nodes using the snapshot utility. This provides you with the easiest way to revert any unwanted changes or incompatibilities that may arise. See the DataStax documentation for more information.
  2. On each of your Cassandra nodes, run sudo apt-get install [ cassandra | apache-cassandra1 | dse-full ], depending on which version you were currently on and want to upgrade to.
    • cassandra upgrades to the latest in 0.8.x release.
    • apache-cassandra upgrades to the latest in the 1.0.x release.
    • dse-full upgrades to the latest DataStax Enterprise release.
    • If you are trying to upgrade across major versions, make sure to read NEWS.txt on the newer packages and consult DataStax documentation for full details for upgrading packaged releases. Typically a new repository must be added followed by a sudo apt-get update.
  3. Account for New and Changed Parameters in cassandra.yaml. If the default Cassandra configuration file has changed, you will find backups of it in the conf directory. You can use that to compare the two configurations and make appropriate changes.
  4. Make sure any client drivers – such as Hector or Pycassa clients – are compatible with your current version.
  5. Run nodetool drain to flush the commit log and then restart each Cassandra node, one at a time, monitoring the log files for any issues.
  6. After upgrading and restarting all Cassandra nodes, restart client applications.
  7. [Upgrading from 0.8 to 1.0] After upgrading, run nodetool scrub against each node before running repair, moving nodes, or adding new ones.

Branching details

Feel free to fork off this project and offer any suggestions that you find along the way.

Also, if you're interested in the whole process: read up on the saving process here: