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Management API for Apache Cassandra®

datastax/management-api-for-apache-cassandra (41)
Templates:Cassandra, Kubernetes, Sidecar, Cloud-Native
License:Apache 2.0

Management API for Apache Cassandra®

Java CI Docker Release


Cassandra® operations have historically been command line driven. The management of operational tools for Apache Cassandra® have been mostly outsourced to teams who manage their specific environments.

The result is a fragmented and tribal set of best practices, workarounds, and edge cases.

The Management API is a sidecar service layer that attempts to build a well supported set of operational actions on Cassandra® nodes that can be administered centrally. It currently works with official Apache Cassandra® 3.11.x an 4.0 via a drop in java agent.

  • Lifecycle Management

    • Start Node
    • Stop Node
  • Configuration Management (alpha)

    • Change YAML
    • Change jvm-opts
  • Health Checks

    • Kubernetes liveness/readiness checks
    • Consistency level checks
  • Per node actions

    • All nodetool commands

Design Principles

  • Secure by default
  • Simple to use and extend
  • CQL Only for all C* interactions

    • Operations: Use CALL method for invoking via CQL
    • Observations: Rely on System Views

The Management API has no configuration file. Rather, it can only be configured from a small list of command line flags. Communication by default can only be via unix socket or via a http(s) endpoint with optional TLS client auth.

In a containerized setting the Management API represents PID 1 and will be responsible for the lifecycle of Cassandra® via the API.

Communication between the Management API and Cassandra® is via a local unix socket using CQL as it's only protocol. This means, out of the box Cassandra® can be started securely with no open ports! Also, using CQL only means operators can execute operations via CQL directly if they wish.

Each Management API is responsible for the local node only. Coordination across nodes is up to the caller. That being said, complex health checks can be added via CQL.



First you need to build the Management API base image:

docker build -t management-api-for-apache-cassandra-builder -f ./Dockerfile-build .

Then you need to build the image based on the actual Cassandra® version, either the 3.11 or 4.0:

#Create a docker image with management api and C* 3.11
docker build -t mgmtapi-3_11 -f Dockerfile-3_11 .

#Create a docker image with management api and C* 4.0
docker build -t mgmtapi-4_0 -f Dockerfile-4_0 .

You can also build an image based on Datastax Astra Cassandra® 4.0 sources. First checkout sources and build a tgz distribution:

ant artifacts

Then copy the tgz archive into the astra-4.0 directory of the Management API sources and run:

cd astra-4.0
docker build -t datastax/astra:4.0 .

Finally build the Management API image:

cd ..
docker build -t mgmtapi-astra-4_0 -f Dockerfile-astra-4_0 .


mvn -DskipTests package
mvn test


The current Swagger/OpenAPI documentation

Also readable from url root: /openapi.json


The latest releases are on Docker Hub: Management API for Apache Cassandra® 3.11.6 and Management API for Apache Cassandra® 4.0 alpha3.

For running standalone the jars can be downloaded from the github release: Management API Releases Zip

The Management API can be run as a standalone service or along with the Kubernetes cass-operator.

The Management API is configured from the CLI. To start the service with a C* version built above, run:

 > docker run -p 8080:8080 -it --rm mgmtapi-4_0 
 > curl http://localhost:8080/api/v0/probes/liveness
 # Check service and C* are running
 > curl http://localhost:8080/api/v0/probes/readiness

Usage with DSE

A DSE jar must be locally available before running the Management API with DSE. Details are described in the DSE README. Once you have DSE jars published locally, follow these steps:

# The builder image needs to have Maven settings.xml (that provides access to Artifactory):
cp $HOME/.m2/settings.xml $PWD

docker build -t management-api-for-dse-builder -f ./Dockerfile-build-dse .

docker build -t mgmtapi-dse -f Dockerfile-dse-68 .

docker run -p 8080:8080 -it --rm mgmtapi-dse

Using the Service with a locally installed C* or DSE instance

To start the service with a locally installed C* or DSE instance, you would run the below commands. The Management API will figure out through --db-home whether it points to a C* or DSE folder

# REQUIRED: Add management api agent to C*/DSE startup
> export JVM_EXTRA_OPTS="-javaagent:$PWD/management-api-agent/target/datastax-mgmtapi-agent-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar"
> alias mgmtapi="java -jar management-api-server/target/datastax-mgmtapi-server-0.1.0-SNAPSHOT.jar"

# Start the service with a local unix socket only, you could also pass -H http://localhost:8080 to expose a port
> mgmtapi --db-socket=/tmp/db.sock --host=unix:///tmp/mgmtapi.sock --db-home=<pathToCassandraOrDseHome>

# Cassandra/DSE will be started by the service by default unless you pass --explicit-start flag

# Check the service is up
> curl --unix-socket /tmp/mgmtapi.sock http://localhost/api/v0/probes/liveness

# Check C*/DSE is up
> curl --unix-socket /tmp/mgmtapi.sock http://localhost/api/v0/probes/readiness 

# Stop C*/DSE
curl -XPOST --unix-socket /tmp/mgmtapi.sock http://localhost/api/v0/lifecycle/stop

CLI Help

The CLI help covers the different options:

mgmtapi --help

        cassandra-management-api - REST service for managing an Apache
        Cassandra or DSE node

                [ {-C | --cassandra-home | --db-home} <db_home> ]
                [ --explicit-start <explicit_start> ] [ {-h | --help} ]
                {-H | --host} <listen_address>...
                [ {-K | --no-keep-alive} <no_keep_alive> ]
                [ {-p | --pidfile} <pidfile> ]
                {-S | --cassandra-socket | --db-socket} <db_unix_socket_file>
                [ --tlscacert <tls_ca_cert_file> ]
                [ --tlscert <tls_cert_file> ] [ --tlskey <tls_key_file> ]

        -C <db_home>, --cassandra-home <db_home>, --db-home <db_home>
            Path to the Cassandra or DSE root directory, if missing will use
            $CASSANDRA_HOME/$DSE_HOME respectively

            This options value must be a path on the file system that must be
            readable, writable and executable.

        --explicit-start <explicit_start>
            When using keep-alive, setting this flag will make the management
            api wait to start Cassandra/DSE until /start is called via REST

        -h, --help
            Display help information

        -H <listen_address>, --host <listen_address>
            Daemon socket(s) to listen on. (required)

        -K <no_keep_alive>, --no-keep-alive <no_keep_alive>
            Setting this flag will stop the management api from starting or
            keeping Cassandra/DSE up automatically

        -p <pidfile>, --pidfile <pidfile>
            Create a PID file at this file path.

            This options value must be a path on the file system that must be
            readable and writable.

        -S <db_unix_socket_file>, --cassandra-socket <db_unix_socket_file>,
        --db-socket <db_unix_socket_file>
            Path to Cassandra/DSE unix socket file (required)

            This options value must be a path on the file system that must be
            readable and writable.

        --tlscacert <tls_ca_cert_file>
            Path to trust certs signed only by this CA

            This options value must be a path on the file system that must be

        --tlscert <tls_cert_file>
            Path to TLS certificate file

            This options value must be a path on the file system that must be

        --tlskey <tls_key_file>
            Path to TLS key file

            This options value must be a path on the file system that must be

        Copyright (c) DataStax 2020

        Please see for more


  • CQL based configuration changes
  • Configuration as system table


Copyright DataStax, Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

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