I also wrote a script to help dealing with firing up a Cassandra cluster on
localhost. It is a bit more extensive in that it deals with how many
node you want (though on a local host you won't probably be able to go too crazy) 
and allow to easily create/start/stop/remove a cluster (and a few more things).

I'm using it mainly for testing Cassandra code but it can probably be useful
as well for proof-checking the way Cassandra works.

For those interested, it's here: https://github.com/pcmanus/ccm


On Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 4:26 PM, Jonathan Ellis <jbellis@gmail.com> wrote:

On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 9:06 PM, Edward Capriolo <edlinuxguru@gmail.com> wrote:
> On the mailing list and IRC there are many questions about Cassandra
> internals. I understand where the questions are coming from because it
> took me a while to get a grip on it.
> However if you have a laptop with a descent amount of RAM 2 GB is
> enough for 3-5 nodes, (4GB is better). You can kick up a multi-node
> cluster right on your laptop. Then you can test failure/eventual
> consistent scenarios such as (insert to node A, kill node B, join node
> C) till your hearts content.
> http://www.edwardcapriolo.com/roller/edwardcapriolo/entry/lauching_5_node_cassandra_clusters

Jonathan Ellis
Project Chair, Apache Cassandra
co-founder of DataStax, the source for professional Cassandra support