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RE: [grouper-users] Grouper HA scenarios

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  • From: Chris Hyzer <>
  • To: Niels van Dijk <>, "" <>
  • Cc: Marieke de Wit <>, Hans Zandbelt <>
  • Subject: RE: [grouper-users] Grouper HA scenarios
  • Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 11:21:32 -0400
  • Accept-language: en-US
  • Acceptlanguage: en-US

Im interested to hear what other people are doing, so others please respond
if you have a good setup.

Here is what we do at Penn:

1. Linux lvs as a load balancer (two servers with heartbeat)
2. This load balances 4 servers behind (this isn't dedicated for grouper, but
each webapp gets its own tomcat process, e.g. grouper ui and grouper ws are
in different tomcats... this is important)
- note, the loadbalancing is very simple, sticky based on source ip
address, which can fail for some isp's that rotate user's ip addresses, or
users with roaming laptops, but generally it is ok for academia where we all
have our own ip address :) We cant easily change this since the apache on
the app server does SSL, but this is a weakness.
3. oracle active-standby synchronization, and the jdbc urls will
auto-failover. E.g. here is a url:

Im not an expert about how this works, but my understanding is that if the
active fails, there is a manual intervention, and some period of time
(measured in minutes) to bring the standby up. Then the apps should work

Btw, WS doesn't require sticky sessions at the moment... though if you are
doing some sort of authentication caching, it would be helpful, and in
general the queries from one service might benefit from going to the same
server since it might be caching as well.

Note: we don't cluster among tomcats. If one failed, users would have to
logout and log back in. Also, with LVS we had issues where the LVS thought
an app server was down when it wasn't, or it thought all were down and shut
down the app. So we manually remove an app server from the cluster if it
fails. We monitor applications with nagios from the outside.

In general we are happy with this setup. Right now are using WS but not for
mission critical stuff. I think we will end up doing this, so I would like
to find a better architecture for very high performance high availability web
services (as we have been discussing in earlier threads, but I wont mention
now :) ).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Niels van Dijk
> [mailto:]
> Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 10:37 AM
> To:
> Cc: Marieke de Wit; Hans Zandbelt
> Subject: [grouper-users] Grouper HA scenarios
> Hi All,
> We are currently exploring scenarios for setting up Grouper in a high
> available, failover setup.
> For the MySQL database, we plan on implementing a standard master-slave
> configuration using two mysql servers.
> For Groupers gui and webservices, the only requirement seems to be that
> sticky sessions need to be handled. Therefore several options seem to
> exist:
> 1) Clustering setup in Tomcat, as described here:
> 2) Use apache mod proxy in front of tomcat to handle the clustering,
> with sticky sessions enabled, like eg described here
> PHP-sticky-sessions.html
> (of course using java sessionid, not php sessionid)
> 3) use a loadbalancer to handle the sticky sessions and just use two
> separate tomcat instances. Pound ( or a
> hardware LB could handle this.
> Did anyone set up grouper in such a way? What solution did you choose?
> And what are your experiences with that solution?
> thanks in advance,
> regards,
> Niels
> --
> Niels van Dijk
> Advanced Services
> T: +31 302 305 337 / M: +31 651 347 657
> SURFnet - PO Box 19035 - NL-3501 DA Utrecht - The Netherlands -
> SURFnet grensverleggend netwerk voor hoger onderwijs en onderzoek

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