Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Load Balancer Administration. Load Balancer Add-on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

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1 Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Load Balancer Administration Load Balancer Add-on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux

2 Load Balancer Administration Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Load Balancer Administration Load Balancer Add-on for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Edition 6 Copyright 2010 Red Hat, Inc. The text of and illustrations in this document are licensed by Red Hat under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported license ("CC-BY-SA"). An explanation of CC-BY-SA is available at In accordance with CC-BY-SA, if you distribute this document or an adaptation of it, you must provide the URL for the original version. Red Hat, as the licensor of this document, waives the right to enforce, and agrees not to assert, Section 4d of CC-BY-SA to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law. Red Hat, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Shadowman logo, JBoss, MetaMatrix, Fedora, the Infinity Logo, and RHCE are trademarks of Red Hat, Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States and other countries. Java is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates. XFS is a trademark of Silicon Graphics International Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. MySQL is a registered trademark of MySQL AB in the United States, the European Union and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners Varsity Drive Raleigh, NC USA Phone: Phone: Fax: Building a Load Balancer Add-On system offers a highly available and scalable solution for production services using specialized Linux Virtual Servers (LVS) for routing and load-balancing techniques configured through the PIRANHA configuration tool. This book discusses the configuration of highperformance systems and services with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Load Balancer Add-On for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

3 Introduction v 1. Document Conventions... v 1.1. Typographic Conventions... vi 1.2. Pull-quote Conventions... vii 1.3. Notes and Warnings... viii 2. Feedback... viii 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview A Basic Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Data Replication and Data Sharing Between Real Servers A Three-Tier Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Load Balancer Add-On Scheduling Overview Scheduling Algorithms Server Weight and Scheduling Routing Methods NAT Routing Direct Routing Persistence and Firewall Marks Persistence Firewall Marks Load Balancer Add-On A Block Diagram Load Balancer Add-On Components Initial Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Configuring Services on the LVS Router Setting a Password for the Piranha Configuration Tool Starting the Piranha Configuration Tool Service Configuring the Piranha Configuration Tool Web Server Port Limiting Access To the Piranha Configuration Tool Turning on Packet Forwarding Configuring Services on the Real Servers Setting Up Load Balancer Add-On The NAT Load Balancer Add-On Network Configuring Network Interfaces for Load Balancer Add-On with NAT Routing on the Real Servers Enabling NAT Routing on the LVS Routers Load Balancer Add-On via Direct Routing Direct Routing and arptables_jf Direct Routing and iptables Putting the Configuration Together General Load Balancer Add-On Networking Tips Multi-port Services and Load Balancer Add-On Assigning Firewall Marks Configuring FTP How FTP Works How This Affects Load Balancer Add-On Routing Creating Network Packet Filter Rules Saving Network Packet Filter Settings Configuring the Load Balancer Add-On with Piranha Configuration Tool Necessary Software Logging Into the Piranha Configuration Tool CONTROL/MONITORING GLOBAL SETTINGS REDUNDANCY iii

4 Load Balancer Administration 4.6. VIRTUAL SERVERS The VIRTUAL SERVER Subsection REAL SERVER Subsection EDIT MONITORING SCRIPTS Subsection Synchronizing Configuration Files Synchronizing lvs.cf Synchronizing sysctl Synchronizing Network Packet Filtering Rules Starting the Load Balancer Add-On A. Using the Load Balancer Add-On with the High Availability Add-On 47 B. Revision History 49 Index 51 iv

5 Introduction This document provides information about installing, configuring, and managing the Load Balancer Add-On components. The Load Balancer Add-On provides load balancing through specialized routing techniques that dispatch traffic to a pool of servers. The audience of this document should have advanced working knowledge of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and understand the concepts of clusters, storage, and server computing. This document is organized as follows: Chapter 1, Load Balancer Add-On Overview Chapter 2, Initial Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Chapter 3, Setting Up Load Balancer Add-On Chapter 4, Configuring the Load Balancer Add-On with Piranha Configuration Tool Appendix A, Using the Load Balancer Add-On with the High Availability Add-On For more information about Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, refer to the following resources: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation Guide Provides information regarding installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat Enterprise Linux Deployment Guide Provides information regarding the deployment, configuration and administration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. For more information about the Load Balancer Add-On and related products for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, refer to the following resources: Red Hat Cluster Suite Overview Provides a high-level overview of the High Availability Add-On, Resilient Storage Add-On, and the Load Balancer Add-On. Configuring and Managing the High Availability Add-On Provides information about configuring and managing the High Availability Add-On (also known as Red Hat Cluster) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Logical Volume Manager Administration Provides a description of the Logical Volume Manager (LVM), including information on running LVM in a clustered environment. Global File System 2: Configuration and Administration Provides information about installing, configuring, and maintaining the Red Hat Resilient Storage Add-On (also known as Red Hat Global File System 2). DM Multipath Provides information about using the Device-Mapper Multipath feature of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Release Notes Provides information about the current release of Red Hat products. This document and other Red Hat documents are available in HTML, PDF, and RPM versions on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Documentation CD and online at 1. Document Conventions This manual uses several conventions to highlight certain words and phrases and draw attention to specific pieces of information. v

6 Introduction In PDF and paper editions, this manual uses typefaces drawn from the Liberation Fonts 1 set. The Liberation Fonts set is also used in HTML editions if the set is installed on your system. If not, alternative but equivalent typefaces are displayed. Note: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and later includes the Liberation Fonts set by default Typographic Conventions Four typographic conventions are used to call attention to specific words and phrases. These conventions, and the circumstances they apply to, are as follows. Mono-spaced Bold Used to highlight system input, including shell commands, file names and paths. Also used to highlight keycaps and key combinations. For example: To see the contents of the file my_next_bestselling_novel in your current working directory, enter the cat my_next_bestselling_novel command at the shell prompt and press Enter to execute the command. The above includes a file name, a shell command and a keycap, all presented in mono-spaced bold and all distinguishable thanks to context. Key combinations can be distinguished from keycaps by the hyphen connecting each part of a key combination. For example: Press Enter to execute the command. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch to the first virtual terminal. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to return to your X-Windows session. The first paragraph highlights the particular keycap to press. The second highlights two key combinations (each a set of three keycaps with each set pressed simultaneously). If source code is discussed, class names, methods, functions, variable names and returned values mentioned within a paragraph will be presented as above, in mono-spaced bold. For example: File-related classes include filesystem for file systems, file for files, and dir for directories. Each class has its own associated set of permissions. Proportional Bold This denotes words or phrases encountered on a system, including application names; dialog box text; labeled buttons; check-box and radio button labels; menu titles and sub-menu titles. For example: Choose System Preferences Mouse from the main menu bar to launch Mouse Preferences. In the Buttons tab, click the Left-handed mouse check box and click Close to switch the primary mouse button from the left to the right (making the mouse suitable for use in the left hand). To insert a special character into a gedit file, choose Applications Accessories Character Map from the main menu bar. Next, choose Search Find from the Character Map menu bar, type the name of the character in the Search field and click Next. The character you sought will be highlighted in the Character Table. Double- 1 https://fedorahosted.org/liberation-fonts/ vi

7 Pull-quote Conventions click this highlighted character to place it in the Text to copy field and then click the Copy button. Now switch back to your document and choose Edit Paste from the gedit menu bar. The above text includes application names; system-wide menu names and items; application-specific menu names; and buttons and text found within a GUI interface, all presented in proportional bold and all distinguishable by context. Mono-spaced Bold Italic or Proportional Bold Italic Whether mono-spaced bold or proportional bold, the addition of italics indicates replaceable or variable text. Italics denotes text you do not input literally or displayed text that changes depending on circumstance. For example: To connect to a remote machine using ssh, type ssh at a shell prompt. If the remote machine is example.com and your username on that machine is john, type ssh The mount -o remount file-system command remounts the named file system. For example, to remount the /home file system, the command is mount -o remount /home. To see the version of a currently installed package, use the rpm -q package command. It will return a result as follows: package-version-release. Note the words in bold italics above username, domain.name, file-system, package, version and release. Each word is a placeholder, either for text you enter when issuing a command or for text displayed by the system. Aside from standard usage for presenting the title of a work, italics denotes the first use of a new and important term. For example: Publican is a DocBook publishing system Pull-quote Conventions Terminal output and source code listings are set off visually from the surrounding text. Output sent to a terminal is set in mono-spaced roman and presented thus: books Desktop documentation drafts mss photos stuff svn books_tests Desktop1 downloads images notes scripts svgs Source-code listings are also set in mono-spaced roman but add syntax highlighting as follows: package org.jboss.book.jca.ex1; import javax.naming.initialcontext; public class ExClient { public static void main(string args[]) throws Exception { InitialContext inictx = new InitialContext(); Object ref = inictx.lookup("echobean"); EchoHome home = (EchoHome) ref; Echo echo = home.create(); vii

8 Introduction System.out.println("Created Echo"); } } System.out.println("Echo.echo('Hello') = " + echo.echo("hello")); 1.3. Notes and Warnings Finally, we use three visual styles to draw attention to information that might otherwise be overlooked. Note Notes are tips, shortcuts or alternative approaches to the task at hand. Ignoring a note should have no negative consequences, but you might miss out on a trick that makes your life easier. Important Important boxes detail things that are easily missed: configuration changes that only apply to the current session, or services that need restarting before an update will apply. Ignoring a box labeled 'Important' will not cause data loss but may cause irritation and frustration. Warning Warnings should not be ignored. Ignoring warnings will most likely cause data loss. 2. Feedback If you spot a typo, or if you have thought of a way to make this manual better, we would love to hear from you. Please submit a report in Bugzilla (http://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/) against the Product Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, the component doc-load_balancer_administration and version number 6.1. If you have a suggestion for improving the documentation, try to be as specific as possible. If you have found an error, please include the section number and some of the surrounding text so we can find it easily. viii

9 Chapter 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview The Load Balancer Add-On is a set of integrated software components that provide Linux Virtual Servers (LVS) for balancing IP load across a set of real servers. The Load Balancer Add-On runs on an active LVS router as well as a backup LVS router. The active LVS router serves two roles: To balance the load across the real servers. To check the integrity of the services on each real server. The backup LVS router monitors the active LVS router and takes over from it in case the active LVS router fails. This chapter provides an overview of The Load Balancer Add-On components and functions, and consists of the following sections: Section 1.1, A Basic Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Section 1.2, A Three-Tier Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Section 1.3, Load Balancer Add-On Scheduling Overview Section 1.4, Routing Methods Section 1.5, Persistence and Firewall Marks Section 1.6, Load Balancer Add-On A Block Diagram 1.1. A Basic Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Figure 1.1, A Basic Load Balancer Add-On Configuration shows a simple Load Balancer Add-On configuration consisting of two layers. On the first layer is one active and one backup LVS router. Each LVS router has two network interfaces, one interface on the Internet and one on the private network, enabling them to regulate traffic between the two networks. For this example the active router is using Network Address Translation or NAT to direct traffic from the Internet to a variable number of real servers on the second layer, which in turn provide the necessary services. Therefore, the real servers in this example are connected to a dedicated private network segment and pass all public traffic back and forth through the active LVS router. To the outside world, the servers appears as one entity. 1

10 Chapter 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview Figure 1.1. A Basic Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Service requests arriving at the LVS router are addressed to a virtual IP address, or VIP. This is a publicly-routable address the administrator of the site associates with a fully-qualified domain name, such as and is assigned to one or more virtual servers. A virtual server is a service configured to listen on a specific virtual IP. Refer to Section 4.6, VIRTUAL SERVERS for more information on configuring a virtual server using the Piranha Configuration Tool. A VIP address migrates from one LVS router to the other during a failover, thus maintaining a presence at that IP address (also known as floating IP addresses). VIP addresses may be aliased to the same device which connects the LVS router to the Internet. For instance, if eth0 is connected to the Internet, than multiple virtual servers can be aliased to eth0:1. Alternatively, each virtual server can be associated with a separate device per service. For example, HTTP traffic can be handled on eth0:1, and FTP traffic can be handled on eth0:2. Only one LVS router is active at a time. The role of the active router is to redirect service requests from virtual IP addresses to the real servers. The redirection is based on one of eight supported loadbalancing algorithms described further in Section 1.3, Load Balancer Add-On Scheduling Overview. The active router also dynamically monitors the overall health of the specific services on the real servers through simple send/expect scripts. To aid in detecting the health of services that require dynamic data, such as HTTPS or SSL, the administrator can also call external executables. If a service on a real server malfunctions, the active router stops sending jobs to that server until it returns to normal operation. The backup router performs the role of a standby system. Periodically, the LVS router exchanges heartbeat messages through the primary external public interface and, in a failover situation, the private interface. Should the backup node fail to receive a heartbeat message within an expected interval, it initiates a failover and assumes the role of the active router. During failover, the backup router takes over the VIP addresses serviced by the failed router using a technique known as ARP spoofing where the backup LVS router announces itself as the destination for IP packets addressed 2

11 Data Replication and Data Sharing Between Real Servers to the failed node. When the failed node returns to active service, the backup node assumes its hotbackup role again. The simple, two-layered configuration used in Figure 1.1, A Basic Load Balancer Add-On Configuration is best for serving data which does not change very frequently such as static webpages because the individual real servers do not automatically sync data between each node Data Replication and Data Sharing Between Real Servers Since there is no built-in component in Load Balancer Add-On to share the same data between the real servers, the administrator has two basic options: Synchronize the data across the real server pool Add a third layer to the topology for shared data access The first option is preferred for servers that do not allow large numbers of users to upload or change data on the real servers. If the configuration allows large numbers of users to modify data, such as an e-commerce website, adding a third layer is preferable Configuring Real Servers to Synchronize Data There are many ways an administrator can choose to synchronize data across the pool of real servers. For instance, shell scripts can be employed so that if a Web engineer updates a page, the page is posted to all of the servers simultaneously. Also, the system administrator can use programs such as rsync to replicate changed data across all nodes at a set interval. However, this type of data synchronization does not optimally function if the configuration is overloaded with users constantly uploading files or issuing database transactions. For a configuration with a high load, a three-tier topology is the ideal solution A Three-Tier Load Balancer Add-On Configuration Figure 1.2, A Three-Tier Load Balancer Add-On Configuration shows a typical three-tier Load Balancer Add-On topology. In this example, the active LVS router routes the requests from the Internet to the pool of real servers. Each of the real servers then accesses a shared data source over the network. 3

12 Chapter 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview Figure 1.2. A Three-Tier Load Balancer Add-On Configuration This configuration is ideal for busy FTP servers, where accessible data is stored on a central, highly available server and accessed by each real server via an exported NFS directory or Samba share. This topology is also recommended for websites that access a central, highly available database for transactions. Additionally, using an active-active configuration with the Load Balancer Add-on, administrators can configure one high-availability cluster to serve both of these roles simultaneously. The third tier in the above example does not have to use the Load Balancer Add-on, but failing to use a highly available solution would introduce a critical single point of failure Load Balancer Add-On Scheduling Overview One of the advantages of using Load Balancer Add-On is its ability to perform flexible, IP-level load balancing on the real server pool. This flexibility is due to the variety of scheduling algorithms an administrator can choose from when configuring Load Balancer Add-On. Load Balancer Add-On load balancing is superior to less flexible methods, such as Round-Robin DNS where the hierarchical nature of DNS and the caching by client machines can lead to load imbalances. Additionally, the lowlevel filtering employed by the LVS router has advantages over application-level request forwarding because balancing loads at the network packet level causes minimal computational overhead and allows for greater scalability. 4

13 Scheduling Algorithms Using scheduling, the active router can take into account the real servers' activity and, optionally, an administrator-assigned weight factor when routing service requests. Using assigned weights gives arbitrary priorities to individual machines. Using this form of scheduling, it is possible to create a group of real servers using a variety of hardware and software combinations and the active router can evenly load each real server. The scheduling mechanism for Load Balancer Add-On is provided by a collection of kernel patches called IP Virtual Server or IPVS modules. These modules enable layer 4 (L4) transport layer switching, which is designed to work well with multiple servers on a single IP address. To track and route packets to the real servers efficiently, IPVS builds an IPVS table in the kernel. This table is used by the active LVS router to redirect requests from a virtual server address to and returning from real servers in the pool. The IPVS table is constantly updated by a utility called ipvsadm adding and removing cluster members depending on their availability Scheduling Algorithms The structure that the IPVS table takes depends on the scheduling algorithm that the administrator chooses for any given virtual server. To allow for maximum flexibility in the types of services you can cluster and how these services are scheduled, Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides the following scheduling algorithms listed below. For instructions on how to assign scheduling algorithms refer to Section 4.6.1, The VIRTUAL SERVER Subsection. Round-Robin Scheduling Distributes each request sequentially around the pool of real servers. Using this algorithm, all the real servers are treated as equals without regard to capacity or load. This scheduling model resembles round-robin DNS but is more granular due to the fact that it is network-connection based and not host-based. Load Balancer Add-On round-robin scheduling also does not suffer the imbalances caused by cached DNS queries. Weighted Round-Robin Scheduling Distributes each request sequentially around the pool of real servers but gives more jobs to servers with greater capacity. Capacity is indicated by a user-assigned weight factor, which is then adjusted upward or downward by dynamic load information. Refer to Section 1.3.2, Server Weight and Scheduling for more on weighting real servers. Weighted round-robin scheduling is a preferred choice if there are significant differences in the capacity of real servers in the pool. However, if the request load varies dramatically, the more heavily weighted server may answer more than its share of requests. Least-Connection Distributes more requests to real servers with fewer active connections. Because it keeps track of live connections to the real servers through the IPVS table, least-connection is a type of dynamic scheduling algorithm, making it a better choice if there is a high degree of variation in the request load. It is best suited for a real server pool where each member node has roughly the same capacity. If a group of servers have different capabilities, weighted least-connection scheduling is a better choice. Weighted Least-Connections (default) Distributes more requests to servers with fewer active connections relative to their capacities. Capacity is indicated by a user-assigned weight, which is then adjusted upward or downward by dynamic load information. The addition of weighting makes this algorithm ideal when the real server pool contains hardware of varying capacity. Refer to Section 1.3.2, Server Weight and Scheduling for more on weighting real servers. 5

14 Chapter 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview Locality-Based Least-Connection Scheduling Distributes more requests to servers with fewer active connections relative to their destination IPs. This algorithm is designed for use in a proxy-cache server cluster. It routes the packets for an IP address to the server for that address unless that server is above its capacity and has a server in its half load, in which case it assigns the IP address to the least loaded real server. Locality-Based Least-Connection Scheduling with Replication Scheduling Distributes more requests to servers with fewer active connections relative to their destination IPs. This algorithm is also designed for use in a proxy-cache server cluster. It differs from Locality- Based Least-Connection Scheduling by mapping the target IP address to a subset of real server nodes. Requests are then routed to the server in this subset with the lowest number of connections. If all the nodes for the destination IP are above capacity, it replicates a new server for that destination IP address by adding the real server with the least connections from the overall pool of real servers to the subset of real servers for that destination IP. The most loaded node is then dropped from the real server subset to prevent over-replication. Destination Hash Scheduling Distributes requests to the pool of real servers by looking up the destination IP in a static hash table. This algorithm is designed for use in a proxy-cache server cluster. Source Hash Scheduling Distributes requests to the pool of real servers by looking up the source IP in a static hash table. This algorithm is designed for LVS routers with multiple firewalls Server Weight and Scheduling The administrator of Load Balancer Add-On can assign a weight to each node in the real server pool. This weight is an integer value which is factored into any weight-aware scheduling algorithms (such as weighted least-connections) and helps the LVS router more evenly load hardware with different capabilities. Weights work as a ratio relative to one another. For instance, if one real server has a weight of 1 and the other server has a weight of 5, then the server with a weight of 5 gets 5 connections for every 1 connection the other server gets. The default value for a real server weight is 1. Although adding weight to varying hardware configurations in a real server pool can help load-balance the cluster more efficiently, it can cause temporary imbalances when a real server is introduced to the real server pool and the virtual server is scheduled using weighted least-connections. For example, suppose there are three servers in the real server pool. Servers A and B are weighted at 1 and the third, server C, is weighted at 2. If server C goes down for any reason, servers A and B evenly distributes the abandoned load. However, once server C comes back online, the LVS router sees it has zero connections and floods the server with all incoming requests until it is on par with servers A and B. To prevent this phenomenon, administrators can make the virtual server a quiesce server anytime a new real server node comes online, the least-connections table is reset to zero and the LVS router routes requests as if all the real servers were newly added to the cluster Routing Methods Red Hat Enterprise Linux uses Network Address Translation or NAT routing for Load Balancer Add- On, which allows the administrator tremendous flexibility when utilizing available hardware and integrating the Load Balancer Add-On into an existing network. 6

15 NAT Routing NAT Routing Figure 1.3, Load Balancer Add-On Implemented with NAT Routing, illustrates Load Balancer Add-On utilizing NAT routing to move requests between the Internet and a private network. Figure 1.3. Load Balancer Add-On Implemented with NAT Routing In the example, there are two NICs in the active LVS router. The NIC for the Internet has a real IP address on eth0 and has a floating IP address aliased to eth0:1. The NIC for the private network interface has a real IP address on eth1 and has a floating IP address aliased to eth1:1. In the event of failover, the virtual interface facing the Internet and the private facing virtual interface are taken-over by the backup LVS router simultaneously. All of the real servers located on the private network use the floating IP for the NAT router as their default route to communicate with the active LVS router so that their abilities to respond to requests from the Internet is not impaired. In this example, the LVS router's public floating IP address and private NAT floating IP address are aliased to two physical NICs. While it is possible to associate each floating IP address to its own physical device on the LVS router nodes, having more than two NICs is not a requirement. Using this topology, the active LVS router receives the request and routes it to the appropriate server. The real server then processes the request and returns the packets to the LVS router which uses network address translation to replace the address of the real server in the packets with the LVS router's public VIP address. This process is called IP masquerading because the actual IP addresses of the real servers is hidden from the requesting clients. Using this NAT routing, the real servers may be any kind of machine running various operating systems. The main disadvantage is that the LVS router may become a bottleneck in large cluster deployments because it must process outgoing as well as incoming requests Direct Routing Building a Load Balancer Add-On setup that uses direct routing provides increased performance benefits compared to other Load Balancer Add-On networking topologies. Direct routing allows the 7

16 Chapter 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview real servers to process and route packets directly to a requesting user rather than passing all outgoing packets through the LVS router. Direct routing reduces the possibility of network performance issues by relegating the job of the LVS router to processing incoming packets only. Figure 1.4. Load Balancer Add-On Implemented with Direct Routing In the typical direct routing Load Balancer Add-On setup, the LVS router receives incoming server requests through the virtual IP (VIP) and uses a scheduling algorithm to route the request to the real servers. The real server processes the request and sends the response directly to the client, bypassing the LVS router. This method of routing allows for scalability in that real servers can be added without the added burden on the LVS router to route outgoing packets from the real server to the client, which can become a bottleneck under heavy network load Direct Routing and the ARP Limitation While there are many advantages to using direct routing in Load Balancer Add-On, there are limitations as well. The most common issue with Load Balancer Add-On via direct routing is with Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). In typical situations, a client on the Internet sends a request to an IP address. Network routers typically send requests to their destination by relating IP addresses to a machine's MAC address with ARP. ARP requests are broadcast to all connected machines on a network, and the machine with the correct IP/MAC address combination receives the packet. The IP/MAC associations are stored in an ARP cache, which is cleared periodically (usually every 15 minutes) and refilled with IP/MAC associations. 8

17 Persistence and Firewall Marks The issue with ARP requests in a direct routing Load Balancer Add-On setup is that because a client request to an IP address must be associated with a MAC address for the request to be handled, the virtual IP address of the Load Balancer Add-On system must also be associated to a MAC as well. However, since both the LVS router and the real servers all have the same VIP, the ARP request will be broadcast to all the machines associated with the VIP. This can cause several problems, such as the VIP being associated directly to one of the real servers and processing requests directly, bypassing the LVS router completely and defeating the purpose of the Load Balancer Add-On setup. To solve this issue, ensure that the incoming requests are always sent to the LVS router rather than one of the real servers. This can be done by using either the arptables_jf or the iptables packet filtering tool for the following reasons: The arptables_jf prevents ARP from associating VIPs with real servers. The iptables method completely sidesteps the ARP problem by not configuring VIPs on real servers in the first place. For more information on using arptables or iptables in a direct routing Load Balancer Add-On environment, refer to Section 3.2.1, Direct Routing and arptables_jf or Section 3.2.2, Direct Routing and iptables Persistence and Firewall Marks In certain situations, it may be desirable for a client to reconnect repeatedly to the same real server, rather than have a Load Balancer Add-On load balancing algorithm send that request to the best available server. Examples of such situations include multi-screen web forms, cookies, SSL, and FTP connections. In these cases, a client may not work properly unless the transactions are being handled by the same server to retain context. Load Balancer Add-On provides two different features to handle this: persistence and firewall marks Persistence When enabled, persistence acts like a timer. When a client connects to a service, Load Balancer Add-On remembers the last connection for a specified period of time. If that same client IP address connects again within that period, it is sent to the same server it connected to previously bypassing the load-balancing mechanisms. When a connection occurs outside the time window, it is handled according to the scheduling rules in place. Persistence also allows the administrator to specify a subnet mask to apply to the client IP address test as a tool for controlling what addresses have a higher level of persistence, thereby grouping connections to that subnet. Grouping connections destined for different ports can be important for protocols which use more than one port to communicate, such as FTP. However, persistence is not the most efficient way to deal with the problem of grouping together connections destined for different ports. For these situations, it is best to use firewall marks Firewall Marks Firewall marks are an easy and efficient way to a group ports used for a protocol or group of related protocols. For instance, if Load Balancer Add-On is deployed to run an e-commerce site, firewall marks can be used to bundle HTTP connections on port 80 and secure, HTTPS connections on port 443. By assigning the same firewall mark to the virtual server for each protocol, state information for the transaction can be preserved because the LVS router forwards all requests to the same real server after a connection is opened. 9

18 Chapter 1. Load Balancer Add-On Overview Because of its efficiency and ease-of-use, administrators of Load Balancer Add-On should use firewall marks instead of persistence whenever possible for grouping connections. However, administrators should still add persistence to the virtual servers in conjunction with firewall marks to ensure the clients are reconnected to the same server for an adequate period of time Load Balancer Add-On A Block Diagram LVS routers use a collection of programs to monitor cluster members and cluster services. Figure 1.5, Load Balancer Add-On Components illustrates how these various programs on both the active and backup LVS routers work together to manage the cluster. Figure 1.5. Load Balancer Add-On Components The pulse daemon runs on both the active and passive LVS routers. On the backup router, pulse sends a heartbeat to the public interface of the active router to make sure the active router is still properly functioning. On the active router, pulse starts the lvs daemon and responds to heartbeat queries from the backup LVS router. Once started, the lvs daemon calls the ipvsadm utility to configure and maintain the IPVS routing table in the kernel and starts a nanny process for each configured virtual server on each real server. Each nanny process checks the state of one configured service on one real server, and tells the lvs daemon if the service on that real server is malfunctioning. If a malfunction is detected, the lvs daemon instructs ipvsadm to remove that real server from the IPVS routing table. If the backup router does not receive a response from the active router, it initiates failover by calling send_arp to reassign all virtual IP addresses to the NIC hardware addresses (MAC address) of the backup node, sends a command to the active router via both the public and private network interfaces 10

19 Load Balancer Add-On Components to shut down the lvs daemon on the active router, and starts the lvs daemon on the backup node to accept requests for the configured virtual servers Load Balancer Add-On Components Section , pulse shows a detailed list of each software component in an LVS router pulse This is the controlling process which starts all other daemons related to LVS routers. At boot time, the daemon is started by the /etc/rc.d/init.d/pulse script. It then reads the configuration file / etc/sysconfig/ha/lvs.cf. On the active router, pulse starts the LVS daemon. On the backup router, pulse determines the health of the active router by executing a simple heartbeat at a userconfigurable interval. If the active router fails to respond after a user-configurable interval, it initiates failover. During failover, pulse on the backup router instructs the pulse daemon on the active router to shut down all LVS services, starts the send_arp program to reassign the floating IP addresses to the backup router's MAC address, and starts the lvs daemon lvs The lvs daemon runs on the active LVS router once called by pulse. It reads the configuration file / etc/sysconfig/ha/lvs.cf, calls the ipvsadm utility to build and maintain the IPVS routing table, and assigns a nanny process for each configured Load Balancer Add-On service. If nanny reports a real server is down, lvs instructs the ipvsadm utility to remove the real server from the IPVS routing table ipvsadm This service updates the IPVS routing table in the kernel. The lvs daemon sets up and administers Load Balancer Add-On by calling ipvsadm to add, change, or delete entries in the IPVS routing table nanny The nanny monitoring daemon runs on the active LVS router. Through this daemon, the active router determines the health of each real server and, optionally, monitors its workload. A separate process runs for each service defined on each real server /etc/sysconfig/ha/lvs.cf This is the Load Balancer Add-On configuration file. Directly or indirectly, all daemons get their configuration information from this file Piranha Configuration Tool This is the Web-based tool for monitoring, configuring, and administering Load Balancer Add-On. This is the default tool to maintain the /etc/sysconfig/ha/lvs.cf Load Balancer Add-On configuration file send_arp This program sends out ARP broadcasts when the floating IP address changes from one node to another during failover. Chapter 2, Initial Load Balancer Add-On Configuration reviews important post-installation configuration steps you should take before configuring Red Hat Enterprise Linux to be an LVS router. 11

20 12

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