Setting -Dcassandra.join_ring=false in /etc/cassandra/jvm.options has questionable results. From the log snippet below, the value is set to false, and read. However, everything seems to happen as if it weren't....gossip occurs, and streaming data via a bulk load comes in.
(see attached log)
I really need this node not to join the cluster, because it is behind on its compaction, and will immediately crash (too many files open - OS ulimit is already set to 300000 temporarily). I know of no other way to do an "offline compaction"