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Re: [grouper-users] Grouper HA scenarios

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  • From: Niels van Dijk <>
  • To: Chris Hyzer <>
  • Cc: "" <>, Marieke de Wit <>, Hans Zandbelt <>
  • Subject: Re: [grouper-users] Grouper HA scenarios
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jun 2009 12:07:45 +0200
  • Organization: SURFnet

Hi Chris,

Thanx for your response!

In regard to the webservices: you state that we *do not* require sticky
sessions. That's very good as that will help scaling.

Regarding the 'earlier threads we wont mention': I pointed you at
jmemcached earlier. (
Would you be willing/able to take a quick look at it and make a (very)
brief assessment of how difficult it would be to introduce that? We have
very good experience with memcached, though not with the java version.
Given the setup you already have, memcached would typically do the query
caching you would like, but than for the distributed set of servers. In
my personal opinion it would be the finishing touch to allow Grouper to
be used in HA scenario's


Chris Hyzer wrote:
> 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:
> jdbc:oracle:thin:@(DESCRIPTION=(FAILOVER=on)(ADDRESS_LIST=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=server1.whatever)(PORT=1521))(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=server2.whatever)(PORT=1522)))(CONNECT_DATA=(SERVICE_NAME=somename.whatever)))
> 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
> again.
> 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 :) ).
> Thanks!
> Chris
>> -----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

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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