High availability means making any system 100% operational without any down time due to occurrences of failure in hardware, software and application. In production environment, it can be achieved with the below levels:

  • Multiple Web Servers
  • Multiple Database Servers
  • Multiple Load Balancers
  • Leveraging different storage systems

Mostly used High availability falls under two categories:

  • Active/Passive: In this category, one node will always be in Active mode whereas another node will be in passive (i.e. stand-by) mode.  If Active node goes down, passive node will become Active.
  • Active/Active: In this category, both the nodes will become Active and both will serve the client request.
“Before the Acronis implementation, there was a huge risk that malware could take down our company. Now, with Acronis, I can say that we’ve done everything possible to protect our data from an attack.” CIO, high performance manufacturing company.
Read details in a report by Forrester.

How to set up High Availability via HA-Proxy?

There are many software or application or hardware by which HA can be setup but in today’s industry the mostly used technology to set up HA  is either HAProxy or Pacemaker.

We are going to setup HA via HAProxy.  For this, we have taken below system requirements:

  • 2 instances for load balancers with public IP
  • 2 instances for web servers with public IP
  • 3 instances for database servers with public IP
  • One floating or virtual IP

Load Balancers:  They are used to balance traffic or request to web servers and database servers as per metrics defined in the configuration files. In most of the cases, the load balancer is set in Active/Passive mode and we have done the same.

Web Servers:  They are application servers where website content or application data is stored.

Database Servers:  They are servers in which MySQL or other database software is installed.

We have used below infrastructure:

Load Balancer:  Active/Passive mode via Keepalive

Web Servers:  Active/Passive mode via HAProxy

Database Servers:  Active/Passive mode via HAProxy

In web servers, we have added 10GB extra hard disk on both the servers so that it’s shared storage can be created and made available on both the servers.  Website content is placed in this shared storage.  In the production environment, shared storage is configured either using SAN or NAS technology but they are bit costly. Nowadays, Ceph storage platform is used for the storage system.

In Database Servers, we have installed Galera software which brings all the database instances in Active/Active mode. That means all three nodes will be in Active mode and in most cases, it works well.  But there are some changes in data inconsistency if there are multiple writes in multiple nodes. So, we have changed our infrastructure via HAProxy in such a way that there is only one Active node and rest nodes act as backup nodes.

Below is server hostname along with IP assignment.  Here “vip-poc” is not a server, it is a floating IP assigned to a load balancer (i.e. lb1-poc and lb2-poc) via Keepalive daemon and all the traffic or requests will pass through this vip only.                     vip-poc.cloudhost.net                    vip-poc                     lb1-poc.cloudhost.net                    lb1-poc                     lb2-poc.cloudhost.net                    lb2-poc                     web1-poc.cloudhost.net web1-poc                     web2-poc.cloudhost.net web2-poc                     db1-poc.cloudhost.net                   db1-poc                     db2-poc.cloudhost.net                   db2-poc                   db3-poc.cloudhost.net                   db3-poc

Load balancer and Web nodes high availability
DB server high availability

Servers setup and configuration:

Firstly, run update command to update all the servers after OS installation.

# yum update -y

Then, setup DNS so that all the servers are reachable (i.e. pingable) with hostname. Since we are not using DNS server right now, we can add below parameters in /etc./hosts file so that all servers reach each other.                     vip-poc.cloudhost.net                    vip-poc                     lb1-poc.cloudhost.net                   lb1-poc                     lb2-poc.cloudhost.net                   lb2-poc                     web1-poc.cloudhost.net              web1-poc                     web2-poc.cloudhost.net              web2-poc                     db1-poc.cloudhost.net                  db1-poc                    db2-poc.cloudhost.net                  db2-poc                    db3-poc.cloudhost.net                  db3-poc

We need to configure NTP service in all the servers so that all servers maintain and show synced exact time. For this, install NTP package in all servers. But, we have used chrony service, rather than NTP package because it works great.

# yum install chrony -y

We have used lb1-poc as the master server for time synchronization, so update below parameters in /etc/chrony.conf file in lb1-poc server.

# vi /etc/chrony.conf




Start and enable chrony service.

# systemctl start chronyd.service

# systemctl enable chronyd.service

 In other servers, update below given things in /etc/chrony.conf file.

# vi /etc/chrony.conf


server lb1-poc iburst

Then, start and enable chrony service

# systemctl start chronyd.service

# systemctl enable chronyd.service

Now, verify time synchronization in each server with the below given command:

# chronyc sources

1.Load Balancer Setup:

We have used HAProxy with Keepalive daemon for traffic load balancing between web and database servers.

So you install HAProxy and Keepalive package in both LB nodes:

# yum install haproxy keepalived -y

We have used  lb1-poc node as master and lb2-poc as slave node.

So the keepalive.conf file looks like:

In lb1-poc node:

# vi /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf


global_defs {

# Keepalived process identifier

lvs_id haproxy_DH


# Script used to check if HAProxy is running

vrrp_script check_haproxy {

script “killall -0 haproxy”

interval 2

weight 2


# Virtual interface

# The priority specifies the order in which the assigned interface to take over in a failover

vrrp_instance VI_01 {

state MASTER

interface em1

virtual_router_id 51

priority 101

# The virtual ip address shared between the two loadbalancers

virtual_ipaddress {


track_script {





Note: is virtual or floating ip.

In lb2-poc node:

# vi /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf


global_defs {

# Keepalived process identifier

lvs_id haproxy_DH_passive


# Script used to check if HAProxy is running

vrrp_script check_haproxy {

script “killall -0 haproxy”

interval 2

weight 2


# Virtual interface

# The priority specifies the order in which the assigned interface to take over in a failover

vrrp_instance VI_01 {

state SLAVE

interface em1

virtual_router_id 51

priority 100

# The virtual ip address shared between the two load balancers

virtual_ipaddress {


track_script {





In both LB nodes, add below parameters in haproxy.cfg file:

# vi /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg



log local2

 chroot      /var/lib/haproxy

 pidfile     /var/run/haproxy.pid

  maxconn     4000

  user        haproxy

   group       haproxy


# turn on stats unix socket

stats socket /var/lib/haproxy/stats


# common defaults that all the ‘listen’ and ‘backend’ sections will

# use if not designated in their block



    mode                    http

    log                     global

    option                  httplog

    option                  dontlognull

    option http-server-close

    option forwardfor       except

    option                  redispatch

    retries                 3

    timeout http-request    10s

    timeout queue           1m

    timeout connect         10s

    timeout client          1m

    timeout server          1m

    timeout http-keep-alive 10s

    timeout check           10s

    maxconn                 3000


# main frontend which proxies to the backends


frontend LB


 reqadd X-Forwarded-Proto:\ http

default_backend Nodes

backend Nodes

   mode http

#   balance roundrobin

   balance source

   option httpchk

   option  httpclose

   option forwardfor

   cookie LB insert

   server web1-poc cookie web1-poc check # web1 server

   server web2-poc cookie web2-poc check backup # web2 server

 listen DB_Servers

        balance source

        mode tcp

        option httpchk

        server db1-poc port 9200 check

        server db2-poc port 9200 check backup

        server db3-poc port 9200 check backup

listen stats *:1936

    stats enable

    stats uri /

    stats hide-version

    stats auth haproxy:******

Note 1: web1-poc is Active and web2-poc is backup. That means it is like Active/passive.

Note 2: Similarly, for DB servers, db1-poc is active and db2-poc, db3-poc is backup. We use this for data consistency.

Note 3:  haproxy statistics url is and username: haproxy,  password: ******.   You can use any unregistered port instead of 1936.

Then start and enable HAProxy and keepalived daemon in both LB nodes:

# systemctl start haproxy keepalived

# systemctl enable haproxy keepalived

2.Web Server Setup:

We use CentOS 6.8-64 bit for web nodes because we are going to use gfs2 file system with DLM locking.

Install DRBD in both web nodes:

# rpm -Uvh http://www.elrepo.org/elrepo-release-6-6.el6.elrepo.noarch.rpm

# yum -y update

# yum install -y kmod-drbd84 drbd84-utils

# modprobe drbd

Now create r0.res resource with below parameters in both nodes:

# vi /etc/drbd.d/r0.res


resource r0 {

 protocol C;

   startup {

    become-primary-on both;              ### For Primary/Primary ###

    degr-wfc-timeout 60;

    wfc-timeout  30;


   disk {

    on-io-error   detach;


   net {

    allow-two-primaries;                 ### For Primary/Primary ###

    cram-hmac-alg sha1;

    shared-secret “mysecret”;

    after-sb-0pri discard-zero-changes;

    after-sb-1pri violently-as0p;

    after-sb-2pri violently-as0p;


   on web1-poc.cloudhost.net {

    device     /dev/drbd0;

    disk       /dev/sdc1;


    meta-disk  internal;


   on web2-poc.cloudhost.net {

    device     /dev/drbd0;

    disk       /dev/sdc1;


    meta-disk  internal;




On both nodes, create metadata on r0 resource:

# drbdadm create-md r0

# /etc/init.d/drbd start

On web1-poc node:

# drbdsetup /dev/drbd0 primary -o

This command makes web1-poc as primary and web2-poc as secondary and then starts data synchronization.

You can check status of data synchronization with below command:

# cat /proc/drbd

Let the data synchronize in both the nodes.

After then make web2-poc node as primary by running below command in web2-poc node:

On web2-poc node:

# drbdsetup /dev/drbd0 primary -o

Now both web1-poc and web2-poc are primary. That means both are in Active/Active mode.

Configure GFS:

We are going to configure gfs which is cluster file system to use with DRBD.

Install below packages in both web nodes:

# yum -y install gfs2-utils cman lvm2-cluster

So add below parameters in /etc/cluster/cluster.conf in both web nodes:

[root@web1-poc cluster]#vi cluster.conf


<?xml version=”1.0″?>

<cluster name=”cluster1″ config_version=”3″>

 <cman two_node=”1″ expected_votes=”1″/>


<clusternode name=”web1-poc.cloudhost.net” votes=”1″ nodeid=”1″>


                <method name=”single”>

                        <device name=”manual” ipaddr=”″/>




<clusternode name=”web2-poc.cloudhost.net” votes=”1″ nodeid=”2″>


                <method name=”single”>

                        <device name=”manual” ipaddr=”″/>





 <fence_daemon clean_start=”1″ post_fail_delay=”0″ post_join_delay=”3″/>


        <fencedevice name=”manual” agent=”fence_manual”/>




Use below command to check and validate cluster in web1-poc node:

[root@web1-poc ~]# ccs_config_validate

Configuration validates

[root@web1-poc ~]#

Restart cluster services in both nodes:

# /etc/init.d/cman start

# /etc/init.d/clvmd start

# /etc/init.d/gfs2 start

 Enable cluster services in both nodes:

# chkconfig cman on

# chkconfig clvmd on

# chkconfig gfs2 on

Now format the device, only on web1-poc node:

# mkfs.gfs2 -p lock_dlm -t cluster1:gfs -j 2 /dev/drbd0

Create /data directory and mount the formatted device to it in web1-poc node:

# mkdir /data

# mount -t gfs2 /dev/drbd0 /data

 Then in web2-poc node:

# mkdir /data

# mount -t gfs2 /dev/drbd0 /data

 Let’s insert the device on fstab in both the nodes (ie web1-poc and web2-poc)

#vi /etc/fstab


/dev/drbd0              /data                   gfs2    defaults        0 0


How to Setup MariaDB Galera Cluster 10.0 On CentOS-7?(Database Server setup)

The MariaDB Galera Cluster is the database server set up for the Linux platforms and  XtraDB/InnoDB storage engines. It is a synchronous multi-master replication for fast and scalable relational database – the MariaDB.

MariaDB Galera Cluster Features:

  • Multi-master topology with Active-active mode
  • Easy read and write to any cluster node
  • True parallel replication (row level) & Automatic node joining
  • Direct client connections, native MariaDB look & feel
  • Automatic membership control, failed nodes drop from the cluster

MariaDB Galera Cluster Advantages:

You can yield several benefits form the above-mentioned features of a DBMS clustering solution, including:

  • Loss free transactions
  • Read and write scalability
  • No replication slave lag
  • Smaller client latencies

We have used 3 freshly deployed VMs running a minimal install of CentOS 7.2 x86_64:

# hostnamectl set-hostname db1-poc.cloudhost.net

#vi /etc/hosts                  <-setup hostfile in all server   web1-poc.cloudhost.net   web1-poc   web2-poc.cloudhost.net   web2-poc   db1-poc.cloudhost.net   db1-poc   db2-poc.cloudhost.net   db2-poc   db3-poc.cloudhost.net   db2-poc

#vi /etc/hosts.allow                 <-Setup tcpwrapper sceurity for SSH login.

 #rpm -Uvh https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/epel-release-latest-7.noarch.rpm

#rpm -Uvh https://mirror.webtatic.com/yum/el7/webtatic-release.rpm

MariaDB Galera setup:

Create a mariadb repository /etc/yum.repos.d/mariadb.repo using following content in your system.

# vi /etc/yum.repos.d/mariadb.repo

# MariaDB 10.1 CentOS repository list – created 2015-11-08 17:34 UTC

# http://mariadb.org/mariadb/repositories/


name = MariaDB

baseurl = http://yum.mariadb.org/10.1/centos7-amd64



How to Install MariaDB Galera Cluster 10.0 software?

Use following commands to install :

#yum install MariaDB-Galera-server MariaDB-client galera rsync  MariaDB-server  MariaDB-compat  socat jemalloc

#systemctl start mariadb

# mysql_secure_installation

#mysql -u root -p



#systemctl stop mariadb

Edit the MariaDB Galera Cluster config:

#vim /etc/my.conf.d/server.conf

# Mandatory settings












Staring the Galera Cluster:

Once the configuration is done, you need to start the cluster, first on the mariadb01 node which is the master with this command.


IMPORTANT NOTE: when executing this command on db2 and db3 do not forget to adjust the wsrep_node_address    and    wsrep_node_name variables.

On db2:



On db3:



Then on other two nodes with normal systemctl command:

#systemctl start mariadb

Check the Galera cluster size:

#mysql -u root -p -e “show status like ‘wsrep%'”

wsrep_local_state_comment | Synced                                  <– cluster is synced

wsrep_incoming_addresses  |    <– node db1 is a provider

wsrep_cluster_size        | 3                                                          <– cluster consists of 3 node

wsrep_ready               | ON                                                           <– good 🙂

Verify replication:

create database cluster;once database create on db1 node then automatically replicate on all another node.

“Acronis is directly responsible for saving our company 1200 hours per year for IT operations staff in backup and recovery workflows.” CIO, high performance IT company.
Read details in a report by Forrester.

In case you have any query regarding this write-up, let me know through comments section.

Services ZNetLive offer:

Domain Name Registration

Best Shared Hosting

WordPress Hosting Plan

VPS Hosting Plans

Buy Dedicated Server