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

Search for AMIs by using the term:



Launch the number of instances desired in your cluster with the User Data field set to

-s <number of instances being started>


##AMI Command Switches

-n <name> (or --clustername)
    The name of the Cassandra cluster
    Note: Spaces are not allowed
    REQUIRED for safety

-s <#> (or --clustersize) 
    Cluster size
    REQUIRED for a balanced, high-performing ring

-d <version> (or --deployment)
    Options are: 07x, 08x, or brisk.
    Default: 08x

-e <smtpAddress>:<port>:<email>:<password> (or --email)
    Sends emails to and from this address for easier
    error collecting

##OpsCenter Support

-o <user>:<pass> (or --opscenter)
    Provide username and password provided during 
    the FREE OpsCenter registration

-p <user>:<pass> (or --paidopscenter)
    Provide username and password provided during 
    the PAID OpsCenter registration

##Brisk Specific

-v <#> (or --vanillanodes)
    Number of vanilla nodes that only run Cassandra
    -s is REQUIRED in order to use this option
    Default: 0

-c <#> (--cfsreplication)
    The CFS replication factor
    At least these many non-vanilla nodes REQUIRED
    Default: 0

##Growing the Cluster

-t <token> (or --token)
    Forces this token on the node 

-z "<seed>,<seed>" (or --seeds)
    Allows a single node to join a cluster
    Note: Seeds must be in the same region
    Note: Spaces are not allowed

-w 1 (or --thisisvanilla)
    Setting the option with 1 forces the joining 
    node to be a vanilla Cassandra node
    Note: Optional and only for Brisk.

##Advanced Cassandra settings

-b <partitioner> (or --partitioner)
    Allows users to change partitioners

Ports Needed

        7000: Cassandra intra-node port
        7199: Cassandra JMX port, (8080 in 07x)
        9160: Cassandra client port
    Brisk Specific:
        8012: Hadoop Job Tracker client port
        1024+: OpsCenter intra-node monitoring ports
Public Facing:
    Brisk Specific:
        50030: Hadoop Job Tracker website port
        50060: Hadoop Task Tracker website port
        8888: OpsCenter website port


Visit for full installation instructions.


To stop the service, simply run

sudo service <cassandra | brisk> stop

To start the service again, simply run

sudo service <cassandra | brisk> start

Implementation details

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

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: