Cassandra – Getting a 3 node cluster built

Cassandra – Getting off the ground.
PREV: Cassandra – researching a DB for ‘Big Data’

While researching a project on Big Data services, I knew that I’d need a multi-node cluster to experiment with, but a pile of hardware was not immediately available.

Using the VERY helpful book Cassandra High Performance Cookbook I was able to build a 3 node cluster on a single machine. This is how I did it:

For this cluster test example, I am using Ubunto 10, with following JVM
      JVM vendor/version: OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM/1.6.0_22

Downloaded Cassandra 1.0.8 package from here:

Created new user on system: bigdata

Create the required base data directories

  $ mkdir commitlog,log,data,saved_caches

Moved that package there and started the build

$ cp /tmp/apache-cassandra-1.0.8-bin.tar.gz .

Unzipped and extracted the contents

$ gunzip apache-cassandra-1.0.8-bin.tar.gz
$ tar xvf apache-cassandra-1.0.8-bin.tar

Moved the long directory name to first instance cassA-1.0.8

$ mv apache-cassandra-1.0.8 cassA-1.0.8

Extracted again and renamed this to the other two planned instances:

$ tar xfv apache-cassandra-1.0.8-bin.tar
$ mv apache-cassandra-1.0.8 cassB-1.0.8  

$ tar xfv apache-cassandra-1.0.8-bin.tar
$ mv apache-cassandra-1.0.8 cassC-1.0.8  

This gave me three packages to build, and each with a unique IP


Edit configuration files in each instance (casaA-1.0.8 used as example:)

$ vi cassA-1.0.8/conf/cassandra.yaml 


# directories where Cassandra should store data on disk.
    - /home/bigdata/data/cassA

# commit log
commitlog_directory: /home/bigdata/commitlog/cassA

# saved caches
saved_caches_directory: /home/bigdata/saved_caches/cassA


# If blank, Cassandra will request a token bisecting the range of
# the heaviest-loaded existing node.  If there is no load information
# available, such as is the case with a new cluster, it will pick
# a random token, which will lead to hot spots.
initial_token: 0


# Setting this to is always wrong.




          # seeds is actually a comma-delimited list of addresses.
          # Ex: ",,"
          - seeds: ",,"

Setting a separate logfile is recommended. Edit config to set separate log

vi cassA-1.0.8/conf/


Repeat for instances cassB and cassC, setting the token value for B and C to appropriate values (see Extra Credit below if you need to know how to do *that* part):

initial_token: 56713727820156410577229101238628035242

initial_token: 113427455640312821154458202477256070485

To enable the JMX management console, each instance will require it’s own port. Edit the env file to set that up.

vi cassA-1.0.8/conf/

# Specifies the default port over which Cassandra will be available for
# JMX connections.

Repeated for the other two instances, defining 8002 and 8003 respectively.

Now, for the final trick, start up the instances:


Cluster elements started up, and they can be seen active in the process table here:

$ ps -lf
0 S bigdata   4554     1  2  80   0 - 226846 futex_ 12:13 pts/0   00:00:05 java -ea -XX:+UseThreadPriorities -XX:ThreadPriorityPolicy=
0 S bigdata   4593     1  2  80   0 - 210824 futex_ 12:13 pts/0   00:00:05 java -ea -XX:+UseThreadPriorities -XX:ThreadPriorityPolicy=
0 S bigdata   4632     1  2  80   0 - 226830 futex_ 12:13 pts/0   00:00:05 java -ea -XX:+UseThreadPriorities -XX:ThreadPriorityPolicy=
0 R bigdata   5047  3054  0  80   0 -  5483 -      12:16 pts/0    00:00:00 ps -lf

Finally, to check the status, connect to of the JMX node ports and check the ring. You only need to connect to one of the cluster’s nodes to check the complete cluster’s status:

$ bin/nodetool -h -port 8001 ring
Address         DC          Rack        Status State   Load            Owns    Token                                       
                                                                               113427455640312821154458202477256070485    datacenter1 rack1       Up     Normal  21.86 KB        33.33%  0                                      datacenter1 rack1       Up     Normal  20.28 KB        33.33%  56713727820156410577229101238628035242    datacenter1 rack1       Up     Normal  29.1 KB         33.33%  113427455640312821154458202477256070485      

Now, that’s a functional 3 instance cluster running on a single node. These are not in separate VMs, and if you wanted to experiment with this on a larger cluster, running multiple instances on multiple VM’s on a single hypervisor.. I don’t really see why you cannot!

In the next article, I’m going to start feeding data into the cluster. Stay tuned for that!

Extra Credit:

To create the token value I needed for this three ring cluster, I used the following PERL script. BTW, bignum is required unless you want PERL printing these big numbers in scientific notation:

use bignum;
my $nodes = shift;
print "Calculate tokens for $nodes nodes\n";
print "node 0\ttoken: 0\n" unless $nodes;
exit unless $nodes;
my $factor = 2**127;
print "factor = $factor\n";
for (my $i=0;$i<$nodes;$i++) {
	my $token = $i * ( $factor / $nodes);
	print "node $i\ttoken: $token\n";

Running the script for three nodes gave me the following results:

$ ./  3

Calculate tokens for 3 nodes
factor = 170141183460469231731687303715884105728
node 0	token: 0
node 1	token: 56713727820156410577229101238628035242.67
node 2	token: 113427455640312821154458202477256070485.34

NEXT: Java build env to prepare for Cassandra development

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