Using WebLogic Server Clusters
In order for a cluster to provide high availability it must be able to recover from service failures. The following sections describe how WebLogic Server detect failures in a cluster, and provides an overview of how failover is accomplished for different types of objects:
WebLogic Server instances monitor the use of IP sockets between peer server instances as an immediate method of detecting failures. If a server connects to one of its peers in a cluster and begins transmitting data over a socket, an unexpected closure of that socket causes the peer server to be marked as "failed," and its associated services are removed from the JNDI naming tree.
If clustered server instances do not have opened sockets for peer-to-peer communication, failed servers may also be detected via the WebLogic Server heartbeat. All server instances in a cluster use multicast to broadcast regular server heartbeat messages to other members of the cluster. Each heartbeat message contains data that uniquely identifies the server that sends the message. Servers broadcast their heartbeat messages at regular intervals of 10 seconds. In turn, each server in a cluster monitors the multicast address to ensure that all peer servers' heartbeat messages are being sent.
If a server monitoring the multicast address misses three heartbeats from a peer server (i.e., if it does not receive a heartbeat from the server for 30 seconds or longer), the monitoring server marks the peer server as "failed." It then updates its local JNDI tree, if necessary, to retract the services that were hosted on the failed server.
Note: For more information about how WebLogic Server uses IP sockets and multicast communications see WebLogic Server Communication in a Cluster.
For clusters that use a supported hardware load balancing solution, the load balancing hardware simply redirects client requests to any available server in the WebLogic Server cluster. The cluster itself obtains the replica of the client's HTTP session state from a secondary server in the cluster.
Using in-memory replication, WebLogic Server copies a session state from one server instance to another. The primary server creates a primary session state on the server to which the client first connects, and a secondary replica on another WebLogic Server instance in the cluster. The replica is kept up-to-date so that it may be used if the server that hosts the servlet fails.
In JDBC-based persistence, WebLogic Server maintains the HTTP session state of a servlet or JSP using file-based or JDBC-based persistence. For more information on these persistence mechanisms, see Configuring Session Persistence in Programming WebLogic HTTP Servlets.
JDBC-based persistence is also used for HTTP session state replication within a Wide Area Network (WAN). For more information, see WAN HTTP Session State Replication.
To utilize in-memory replication for HTTP session states, you must access the WebLogic Server cluster using either a collection of Web servers with identically configured WebLogic proxy plug-ins, or load balancing hardware.
The WebLogic proxy plug-in maintains a list of WebLogic Server instances that host a clustered servlet or JSP, and forwards HTTP requests to those instances using a round-robin strategy. The plug-in also provides the logic necessary to locate the replica of a client's HTTP session state if a WebLogic Server instance should fail.
For instructions on setting up proxy plug-ins, see Configure Proxy Plug-Ins.
If you choose to use load balancing hardware instead of a proxy plug-in, it must support a compatible passive or active cookie persistence mechanism, and SSL persistence. For details on these requirements, see Load Balancer Configuration Requirements. For instructions on setting up a load balancer, see Configuring Load Balancers that Support Passive Cookie Persistence.
Note: Serialization is the process of converting a complex data structure, such as a parallel arrangement of data (in which a number of bits are transmitted at a time along parallel channels) into a serial form (in which one bit at a time is transmitted); a serial interface provides this conversion to enable data transmission.
In an HTTP servlet that implements
HttpSession.setAttribute (which replaces the deprecated
putValue) to change attributes in a session object. If you set attributes in a session object with
setAttribute, the object and its attributes are replicated in a cluster using in-memory replication. If you use other set methods to change objects within a session, WebLogic Server does not replicate those changes. Every time a change is made to an object that is in the session,
setAttribute() should be called to update that object across the cluster.
Serializing session data introduces some overhead for replicating the session state. The overhead increases as the size of serialized objects grows. If you plan to create very large objects in the session, test the performance of your servlets to ensure that performance is acceptable.
If you are designing a Web application that utilizes multiple frames, keep in mind that there is no synchronization of requests made by frames in a given frameset. For example, it is possible for multiple frames in a frameset to create multiple sessions on behalf of the client application, even though the client should logically create only a single session.
In a clustered environment, poor coordination of frame requests can cause unexpected application behavior. For example, multiple frame requests can "reset" the application's association with a clustered instance, because the proxy plug-in treats each request independently. It is also possible for an application to corrupt session data by modifying the same session attribute via multiple frames in a frameset.
By default, WebLogic Server attempts to create session state replicas on a different machine than the one that hosts the primary session state. You can further control where secondary states are placed using replication groups. A replication group is a preferred list of clustered servers to be used for storing session state replicas.
Using the WebLogic Server Console, you can define unique machine names that will host individual server instances. These machine names can be associated with new WebLogic Server instances to identify where the servers reside in your system.
Machine names are generally used to indicate servers that run on the same machine. For example, you would assign the same machine name to all server instances that run on the same machine, or the same server hardware.
If you do not run multiple WebLogic Server instances on a single machine, you do not need to specify WebLogic Server machine names. Servers without a machine name are treated as though they reside on separate machines. For detailed instructions on setting machine names, see Configure Machine Names.
When you configure a clustered server instance, you can assign the server to a replication group, and a preferred secondary replication group for hosting replicas of the primary HTTP session states created on the server.
When a client attaches to a server in the cluster and creates a primary session state, the server hosting the primary state ranks other servers in the cluster to determine which server should host the secondary. Server ranks are assigned using a combination of the server's location (whether or not it resides on the same machine as the primary server) and its participation in the primary server's preferred replication group. The following table shows the relative ranking of servers in a cluster.
Using these rules, the primary WebLogic Server ranks other members of the cluster and chooses the highest-ranked server to host the secondary session state. For example, the following figure shows replication groups configured for different geographic locations.
In this example, Servers A, B, and C are members of the replication group "Headquarters" and use the preferred secondary replication group "Crosstown." Conversely, Servers X, Y, and Z are members of the "Crosstown" group and use the preferred secondary replication group "Headquarters." Servers A, B, and X reside on the same machine, "sardina."
To configure a server's membership in a replication group, or to assign a server's preferred secondary replication group, follow the instructions in Configure Replication Groups.
This section describes the connection and failover processes for requests that are proxied to clustered servlets and JSPs. For instructions on setting up proxy plug-ins, see Configure Proxy Plug-Ins.
The following figure depicts a client accessing a servlet hosted in a cluster. This example uses a single WebLogic Server to serve static HTTP requests only; all servlet requests are forwarded to the WebLogic Server cluster via the
When the HTTP client requests the servlet,
HttpClusterServlet proxies the request to the WebLogic Server cluster.
HttpClusterServlet maintains the list of all servers in the cluster, and the load balancing logic to use when accessing the cluster. In the above example,
HttpClusterServlet routes the client request to the servlet hosted on WebLogic Server A. WebLogic Server A becomes the primary server hosting the client's servlet session.
To provide failover services for the servlet, the primary server replicates the client's servlet session state to a secondary WebLogic Server in the cluster. This ensures that a replica of the session state exists even if the primary server fails (for example, due to a network failure). In the example above, Server B is selected as the secondary.
The servlet page is returned to the client through the
HttpClusterServlet, and the client browser is instructed to write a cookie that lists the primary and secondary locations of the servlet session state. If the client browser does not support cookies, WebLogic Server can use URL rewriting instead.
In its default configuration, WebLogic Server uses client-side cookies to keep track of the primary and secondary server that host the client's servlet session state. If client browsers have disabled cookie usage, WebLogic Server can also keep track of primary and secondary servers using URL rewriting. With URL rewriting, both locations of the client session state are embedded into the URLs passed between the client and proxy server. To support this feature, you must ensure that URL rewriting is enabled on the WebLogic Server cluster. For instructions on how to enable URL rewriting, see Using URL Rewriting, in Assembling and Configuring Web Applications.
Should the primary server fail,
HttpClusterServlet uses the client's cookie information to determine the location of the secondary WebLogic Server that hosts the replica of the session state.
HttpClusterServlet automatically redirects the client's next HTTP request to the secondary server, and failover is transparent to the client.
After the failure, WebLogic Server B becomes the primary server hosting the servlet session state, and a new secondary is created (Server C in the previous example). In the HTTP response, the proxy updates the client's cookie to reflect the new primary and secondary servers, to account for the possibility of subsequent failovers.
In a two-server cluster, the client would transparently fail over to the server hosting the secondary session state. However, replication of the client's session state would not continue unless another WebLogic Server became available and joined the cluster. For example, if the original primary server was restarted or reconnected to the network, it would be used to host the secondary session state.
To support direct client access via load balancing hardware, the WebLogic Server replication system allows clients to use secondary session states regardless of the server to which the client fails over. WebLogic Server uses client-side cookies or URL rewriting to record primary and secondary server locations. However, this information is used only as a history of the servlet session state location; when accessing a cluster via load balancing hardware, clients do not use the cookie information to actively locate a server after a failure.
Note: You must enable WebLogic Server URL rewriting capabilities to support clients that disallow cookies, as described in Using URL Rewriting to Track Session Replicas.
WebLogic Server C becomes the new host for the client's primary session state, and WebLogic Server B continues to host the session state replica. This new information about the primary and secondary host is again updated in the client's cookie, or via URL rewriting.
In addition to providing HTTP session state replication across servers within a cluster, WebLogic server provides the ability to replicate HTTP session state across multiple clusters. This improves high-availability and fault tolerance by allowing clusters to be spread across multiple geographic regions, power grids, and internet service providers. This section discusses the two mechanisms for cross-cluster replication supported by WebLogic Server:
For general information on HTTP session state replication, see HTTP Session State Replication. For more information on using hardware load balancers, see Accessing Clustered Servlets and JSPs with Load Balancing Hardware.
To perform cross-cluster replication with WebLogic Server, your network must include global and local hardware load balancers. Figure 6-5 shows how both types of load balancers interact within a multi-cluster environment to support cross-cluster replication. For general information on using load balancer within a WebLogic Server environment, see Connection with Load Balancing Hardware.
In a network configuration that supports cross-cluster replication, the global load balancer is responsible for balancing HTTP requests across clusters. When a request comes in, the global load balancer determines which cluster to send it to based on the current number of requests being handled by each cluster. Then the request is passed to the local load balancer for the chosen cluster.
In order to replicate session data from one cluster to another, a replication channel must be configured to communicate session state information from the primary to the secondary cluster. The specific method used to replicate session information depends on which type of cross-cluster replication you are implementing. For more information, see MAN HTTP Session State Replication or WAN HTTP Session State Replication.
When a server within a cluster fails, the local load balancer is responsible for transferring the request to other servers within a cluster. When the entire cluster fails, the local load balancer returns HTTP requests back to the global load balancer. The global load balancer then redirects this request to the other local load balancer.
In addition to creating and configuring your domains, you should also create and configure your clusters and managed servers. For information on creating and configuring a domain, see Using WebLogic Tools to Configure a Domain, in Understanding Domain Configuration.
This method of session state replication is used to perform cross-cluster replication within a WAN. For more information, see Database Configuration for WAN Session State Replication.
You can use a third-party replication product to replicate state across clusters, or you can allow WebLogic Server to replicate session state across clusters. The following configuration considerations should be kept in mind depending on which method you use:
jdbc-pool, and that
If backup-cluster-address is NULL, WebLogic Server assumes that you are using a third-party product to handle replication. In this case, session data is not persisted to the remote database, but is persisted locally.
Resources within a metropolitan area network (MAN) are often in physically separate locations, but are geographically close enough that network latency is not an issue. Network communication in a MAN generally has low latency and fast interconnect. Clusters within a MAN can be installed in physically separate locations which improves availability.
To provide failover within a MAN, WebLogic Server provides an in-memory mechanism that works between two separate clusters. This allows session state to be replicated synchronously from one cluster to another, provided that the network latency is a few milliseconds. The advantage of using a synchronous method is that reliability of in-memory replication is guaranteed.
If all of the servers in Cluster 1 fail, the global load balancer will automatically fail all subsequent session requests to Cluster 2. All sessions that have been replicated to Cluster 2 will be recovered and the client will experience no data loss.
Assume that the primary server S1 is being hosted on Cluster 1, and the secondary server S6 is being hosted on Cluster 2. If S1 crashes, then any other server in Cluster 1 (S2 or S3) can pick up the request and retrieve the session data from server S6. S6 will continue to be the backup server.
Assume that the primary server S1 is being hosted on Cluster 1, and the secondary server S6 is being hosted on Cluster 2. If the secondary server S6 fails, then the primary server S1 will automatically select a new secondary server on Cluster 2. Upon receiving a client request, the session information will be backed up on the new secondary server.
MAN replication relies on global load balancers to maintain cluster affinity and local load balancers to maintain server affinity. If a server within a cluster fails, the local load balancer is responsible for ensuring that session state is replicated to another server in the cluster. If all of the servers within a cluster have failed or are unavailable, the global load balancer is responsible for replicating session state to another cluster. This ensures that failover to another cluster does not occur unless the entire cluster fails.
Resources in a wide area network (WAN) are frequently spread across separate geographical regions. In addition to requiring network traffic to cross long distances, these resources are often separated by multiple routers and other network bottle necks. Network communication in a WAN generally has higher latency and slower interconnect.
Slower network performance within a WAN makes it difficult to use a synchronous replication mechanism like the one used within a MAN. WebLogic Server provides failover across clusters in WAN by using an asynchronous data replication scheme.
If all of the servers in Cluster 1 fail, the global load balancer will automatically fail all subsequent session requests to Cluster 2. All sessions will be backed up according to the last know flush to the database.
This section describes the data source configuration requirements for cross-cluster session state replication in a WAN. For more general information about setting up cross-cluster replication, see Configuration Requirements for Cross-Cluster Replication.
To enable cross-cluster replication within a WAN environment, you must create a JDBC data source that points to the database where session state information is stored. Perform the following procedures to setup and configure your database:
This data source can also be configured as a JDBC Multi Data Source. For more information on configuring a Multi Data Source, see Configuring JDBC Multi Data Sources in Configuring and Managing WebLogic JDBC.
DataSourceForSessionPersistencefor both the primary and secondary cluster to point to this data source.
CREATE TABLE WLS_WAN_PERSISTENCE_TABLE (
WL_ID VARCHAR2(100) NOT NULL,
WL_CONTEXT_PATH VARCHAR(50) NOT NULL,
WL_VERSION NUMBER(38) NOT NULL,
WL_SESSION_ATTRIBUTE_VALUE LONG RAW,
PRIMARY KEY(WL_ID, WL_CONTEXT_PATH,
For clustered EJBs and RMIs, failover is accomplished using the object's replica-aware stub. When a client makes a call through a replica-aware stub to a service that fails, the stub detects the failure and retries the call on another replica.
With clustered objects, automatic failover generally occurs only in cases where the object is idempotent. An object is idempotent if any method can be called multiple times with no different effect than calling the method once. This is always true for methods that have no permanent side effects. Methods that do have side effects have to be written with idempotence in mind.
Consider a shopping cart service call
addItem() that adds an item to a shopping cart. Suppose client C invokes this call on a replica on Server S1. After S1 receives the call, but before it successfully returns to C, S1 crashes. At this point the item has been added to the shopping cart, but the replica-aware stub has received an exception. If the stub were to retry the method on Server S2, the item would be added a second time to the shopping cart. Because of this, replica-aware stubs will not, by default, attempt to retry a method that fails after the request is sent but before it returns. This behavior can be overridden by marking a service idempotent.
If an EJB or RMI object is clustered, instances of the object are deployed on all WebLogic Server instances in the cluster. The client has a choice about which instance of the object to call. Each instance of the object is referred to as a replica.
The key technology that supports object clustering objects in WebLogic Server is the replica-aware stub. When you compile an EJB that supports clustering (as defined in its deployment descriptor),
appc passes the EJB's interfaces through the
rmic compiler to generate replica-aware stubs for the bean. For RMI objects, you generate replica-aware stubs explicitly using command-line options to
rmic, as described in WebLogic RMI Compiler, in Programming WebLogic RMI.
A replica-aware stub appears to the caller as a normal RMI stub. Instead of representing a single object, however, the stub represents a collection of replicas. The replica-aware stub contains the logic required to locate an EJB or RMI class on any WebLogic Server instance on which the object is deployed. When you deploy a cluster-aware EJB or RMI object, its implementation is bound into the JNDI tree. As described in Cluster-Wide JNDI Naming Service, clustered WebLogic Server instances have the capability to update the JNDI tree to list all server instances on which the object is available. When a client accesses a clustered object, the implementation is replaced by a replica-aware stub, which is sent to the client.
The stub contains the load balancing algorithm (or the call routing class) used to load balance method calls to the object. On each call, the stub can employ its load algorithm to choose which replica to call. This provides load balancing across the cluster in a way that is transparent to the caller. To understand the load balancing algorithms available for RMI objects and EJBs, see Load Balancing for EJBs and RMI Objects. If a failure occurs during the call, the stub intercepts the exception and retries the call on another replica. This provides a failover that is also transparent to the caller.
EJBs differ from plain RMI objects in that each EJB can potentially generate two different replica-aware stubs: one for the
EJBHome interface and one for the
EJBObject interface. This means that EJBs can potentially realize the benefits of load balancing and failover on two levels:
All bean homes interfaces—used to find or create bean instances—can be clustered, by specifying the determined by the home-is-clusterable element in
When a bean is deployed to a cluster, each server binds the bean's home interface to its cluster JNDI tree under the same name. When a client requests the bean's home from the cluster, the server instance that does the look-up returns a
EJBHome stub that has a reference to the home on each server.
When the client issues a
find() call, the stub routes selects a server from the replica list in accordance with the load balancing algorithm, and routes the call to the home interface on that server. The selected home interface receives the call, and creates a bean instance on that server instance and executes the call, creating an instance of the bean.
Note: WebLogic Server supports load balancing algorithms that provide server affinity for EJB home interfaces. To understand server affinity and how it affects load balancing and failover, see Round-Robin Affinity, Weight-Based Affinity, and Random-Affinity.
When a home creates a stateless bean, it returns a
EJBObject stub that lists all of the servers in the cluster, to which the bean should be deployed. Because a stateless bean holds no state on behalf of the client, the stub is free to route any call to any server that hosts the bean. The stub can automatically fail over in the event of a failure. The stub does not automatically treat the bean as idempotent, so it will not recover automatically from all failures. If the bean has been written with idempotent methods, this can be noted in the deployment descriptor and automatic failover will be enabled in all cases.
Note: WebLogic Server supports load balancing options that provide server affinity for stateless EJB remote interfaces. To understand server affinity and how it affects load balancing and failover, see Round-Robin Affinity, Weight-Based Affinity, and Random-Affinity.
Method-level failover for a stateful service requires state replication. WebLogic Server satisfies this requirement by replicating the state of the primary bean instance to a secondary server instance, using a replication scheme similar to that used for HTTP session state.
When a home interface creates a stateless session bean instance, it selects a secondary instance to host the replicated state, using the same rules defined in Using Replication Groups. The home interface returns a
EJBObject stub to the client that lists the location of the primary bean instance, and the location for the replicated bean state.
As the client makes changes to the state of the EJB, state differences are replicated to the secondary server instance. For EJBs that are involved in a transaction, replication occurs immediately after the transaction commits. For EJBs that are not involved in a transaction, replication occurs after each method invocation.
Note: The actual state of a stateful EJB is non-transactional, as described in the EJB specification. Although it is unlikely, there is a possibility that the current state of the EJB can be lost. For example, if a client commits a transaction involving the EJB and there is a failure of the primary server before the state change is replicated, the client will fail over to the previously-stored state of the EJB. If it is critical to preserve the state of your EJB in all possible failover scenarios, use an entity EJB rather than a stateful session EJB.
Should the primary server fail, the client's EJB stub automatically redirects further requests to the secondary WebLogic Server instance. At this point, the secondary server creates a new EJB instance using the replicated state data, and processing continues on the secondary server.
After a failover, WebLogic Server chooses a new secondary server to replicate EJB session states (if another server is available in the cluster). The location of the new primary and secondary server instances is automatically updated in the client's replica-aware stub on the next method invocation, as shown below.
When a home finds or creates a read-write entity bean, it obtains an instance on the local server and returns a stub pinned to that server. Load balancing and failover occur only at the home level. Because it is possible for multiple instances of the entity bean to exist in the cluster, each instance must read from the database before each transaction and write on each commit.
Failover for entity beans and EJB handles depends upon the existence of the cluster address. You can explicitly define the cluster address, or allow WebLogic Server to generate it automatically, as described in Cluster Address. If you explicitly define cluster address, you must specify it as a DNS name that maps to all server instances in the cluster and only server instances in the cluster. The cluster DNS name should not map to a server instance that is not a member of the cluster.
WebLogic RMI provides special extensions for building clustered remote objects. These are the extensions used to build the replica-aware stubs described in the EJB section. For more information about using RMI in clusters, see WebLogic RMI Features and Guidelines in Programming WebLogic RMI.
If you are programming EJBs to be used in a WebLogic Server cluster, read the instructions in this section to understand the capabilities of different EJB types in a cluster. Then ensure that you enable clustering in the EJB's deployment descriptor. weblogic-ejb-jar.xml Deployment Descriptor Reference in Programming WebLogic Enterprise JavaBeans describes the XML deployment elements relevant for clustering.
If you are developing either EJBs or custom RMI objects, also refer to "Using WebLogic JNDI in a Clustered Environment in Programming WebLogic JNDI to understand the implications of binding clustered objects in the JNDI tree.
Even if a clustered object is not idempotent, WebLogic Server performs automatic failover in the case of a
MarshalException. Either of these exceptions indicates that the object could not have been modified, and therefore there is no danger of causing data inconsistency by failing over to another instance.
Note: Server Migration is not supported on all platforms. See Server Migration in Supported Configurations for WebLogic Server 9.1.
In a WebLogic Server cluster, most services are deployed homogeneously on all the server instances in the cluster, enabling transparent failover from one server to another. In contrast, "pinned services" such as JMS and the JTA transaction recovery system are targeted at individual server instances within a cluster—for these services, WebLogic Server supports failure recovery with migration, as opposed to failover.
In previous releases of WebLogic Server, JMS servers and the JTA transaction recovery system could be migrated manually upon failure of the hosting server instance. This feature is still supported, and is described in Service Migration.
WebLogic Server provides a feature for making JMS and the JTA transaction system highly available: migratable servers. Migratable servers provide for both automatic and manual migration at the server-level, rather than the service level.
Note: Server-level migration is an alternative to service-level migration. Service migration and server migration are not intended to be used in combination. If you migrate an individual service within your cluster, do not migrate an entire server instance.
A migratable server is a clustered server instance that migrates in its entirety, along with all the services it hosts. Migratable servers are intended to host pinned services, such as JMS servers and the JTA transaction recovery servers, but they can also host clusterable services. All services that run on a migratable server are highly available.
When a migratable server becomes unavailable for any reason, for instance, if it hangs, loses network connectivity, or its host machine fails—migration is automatic. Upon failure, a migratable server is automatically restarted on the same machine if possible. If the migratable server cannot be restarted on the machine where it failed, it is migrated to another machine. In addition, an administrator can manually initiate migration of a server instance.
Before configuring server migration, ensure that your environment meets the requirements outlined in Setting Up Your Environment for Server Migration.
Each migratable server must be assigned a floating IP address which follows the server from one physical machine to another after migration. Any server that is assigned a floating IP address must also have
AutoMigrationEnabled set to true.
For general information on using Node Manager in server migration, see Node Manager's Role in Server Migration.
Your database must be reliable. The server instances will only be as reliable as the database is. For experimental purposes, a normal database will suffice. For a production environment, only high-availability databases are recommended. If the database goes down, all the migratable servers will shut themselves down.
DataSourceForAutomaticMigrationto this data source in each cluster configuration.
For more information on creating a JDBC data source, see Configuring JDBC Data Sources in Configuring and Managing WebLogic JDBC.
This script is used to transfer IP addresses from one machine to another during migration. It must be able to run ifconfig, which is generally only available to superusers. You can edit the script so that it is invoked using
nodemanager.domainsare included in your machines' PATH. These files are located in
nodemanager.domainsis located in
ssh/rsh machine_A' from machine_B and vice versa without having to explicitly enter a username/password. Also, each machine must be able to connect to itself using SSH in the same way.
Note: You should ensure that your login scripts (.cshrc, .profile, .login, etc.) only echo messages from your shell profile if the shell is interactive. WebLogic server uses an ssh command to login and echo the contents of the server.state file. Only the first line of this output is used to determine the server state.
To ensure high availability, it is critical that such state information remains available to the server instance and the services it hosts after migration. Otherwise, data about the work in process at the time of failure may be lost. State information maintained by a migratable server, such as the data contained in transaction logs, should be stored in a shared storage system that is accessible to any potential machine to which a failed migratable server might be migrated. For highest reliability, use a shared storage solution that is itself highly available—for example, a storage area network (SAN).
For background information about Node Manager and how it fits into a WebLogic Server environment, see Using Node Manager to Control WebLogic Server in Configuring WebLogic Server Environments.
Figure 6-10, Startup of Cluster With Migratable Servers, on page 6-37 illustrates the processing and communications that occur during startup of a cluster that contains migratable servers.
The example cluster contains two Managed Servers, both of which are migratable. The Administration Server and the two Managed Servers each run on different machines. A fourth machine is available as a backup—in the event that one of the migratable servers fails. Node Manager running on the backup machine and on each machine with a running migratable server.
These are the key steps that occur during startup of the cluster illustrated in Figure 6-10:
Figure 6-11, Automatic Migration of a Failed Server, on page 6-39 illustrates the automatic migration process after failure of the machine hosting Managed Server 2.
During migration, the clients of the Managed Server that is migrating may experience a brief interruption in service; it may be necessary to reconnect. On Solaris and Linux operating systems, this can be done using
ifconfig command. The clients of a migrated server do not need to know the particular machine to which it has migrated.
When a machine from a server that was migrated becomes available again, the reversal of the migration process—migrating the server instance back to its original host machine—is known as failback. WebLogic Server does not automate the process of failback. An administrator can accomplish failback by manually restoring the server instance to its original host.
Figure 6-12, Manual Server Migration, on page 6-41 illustrates what happens when an administrator manually migrates a migratable server.
In addition, the Administration Server provides its regular domain management functionality, persisting configuration updates issued by an administrator, and providing a run-time view of the domain, including the migratable servers it contains.
Note: There are two tables used in server migration. One table maintains leasing information, while the other keeps track of the machine-server association. For more information on the schema of these tables, see Configuring Server Migration.
HealthCheckIntervalMillis, which by default is 10,000.
HealthCheckPeriodsUntilFencing, which by default is 3.
System.exit—in this case, the lease table still contains a row for that server instance. For information about how this relates to automatic migration, see Cluster Master's Role in Server Migration.
When you initiate the startup of a Managed Server from the Administration Console, the Administration Server uses Node Manager to start up the server instance. You can also invoke Node Manager to start the server instance using the stand-alone Node Manager client, however, the Administration Server must be available so that the Managed Server can obtain its configuration.
Node Manager performs the steps in the server migrate process by running customizable shell scripts, provided with WebLogic Server, that start, restart and stop servers; migrate IP addresses; and mount and unmount disks. The scripts are available for Solaris and Linux.
In a cluster that contains migratable servers, one server instance acts as the cluster master—whose role is to orchestrate the server migration process. Any server instance in the cluster can serve as the cluster master. When you start a cluster that contains migratable servers, the first server to join the cluster becomes the cluster master and starts up the cluster manager service. If a cluster does not include at least one migratable server, it does not require a cluster manager, and the cluster master service does not start up. In the absence of a cluster master, migratable servers can continue to operate, but server migration is not possible. These are the key functions of the cluster master:
ClusterMBean, and then try to invoke the Node Manager process on the machine that hosts the migratable server whose lease is expired, to restart the migratable server.
A list of machines that can host migratable servers can be configured at two levels: for the cluster as a whole, and for an individual migratable server. You can define a machine list at both levels. You must define a machine list at least one level.
WebLogic Server supports service-level migration for JMS servers and the JTA transaction recovery service. This document refers to these services as migratable services, because you can move them from one server to another within a cluster. Note that JMS also offers improved service continuity in the event of a single Weblogic Server failure by enabling you to configure multiple physical destinations (queues and topics) as part of a single distributed destination set.
WebLogic Server also supports migration at the server level—a complete server instance, and all of the services it hosts can be migrated to another machine, either automatically, or manually. This feature is described in Server Migration.
In a WebLogic Server cluster, most services are deployed homogeneously on all the server instances in the cluster, enabling transparent failover from one server to another. In contrast, singleton services, such as JMS and the JTA transaction recovery system, run only on one server in the cluster at any given time.
WebLogic Server allows the administrator to migrate singleton services from one server to another in the cluster, either in response to a server failure or as part of regularly-scheduled maintenance. This capability improves the availability of singleton services in a cluster, because those services can be quickly restarted on a redundant server should the host server fail.
Clients access a migratable service in a cluster using a migration-aware RMI stub. The RMI stub keeps track of which server currently hosts the pinned service, and it directs client requests accordingly. For example, when a client first accesses a pinned service, the stub directs the client request to the server instance in the cluster that currently hosts the service. If the service migrates to a different WebLogic Server between subsequent client requests, the stub transparently redirects the request to the correct target server.
There are special considerations when you migrate a service from a server instance that has crashed or is unavailable to the Administration Server. If the Administration Server cannot reach the previously active host of the service at the time you perform the migration, that Managed Server's local configuration information will not be updated to reflect that it is no longer the active host for the service. In this situation, you must purge the unreachable Managed Server's local configuration cache before starting it again. This prevents the previous active host from re-activating at startup a service that has been migrated to another Managed Server. For more information see Migrating When the Currently Active Host is Unavailable.
By default, WebLogic Server can migrate the JTA transaction recovery service or a JMS server to any other server in the cluster. You can optionally configure a list of servers in the cluster that can potentially host a pinned service. This list of servers is referred to as a migratable target, and it controls the servers to which you can migrate a service. In the case of JMS, the migratable target also defines the list of servers to which you can deploy a JMS server.
In the above example, the migratable target allows the administrator to migrate the pinned JMS server only from Server A to Server B, or vice versa. Similarly, when deploying the JMS server to the cluster, the administrator selects either Server A or B as the deployment target to enable migration for the service. (If the administrator does not use a migratable target, the JMS server can be deployed or migrated to any available server in the cluster.)
WebLogic Server enables you to create separate migratable targets for the JTA transaction recovery service and JMS servers. This allows you to always keep each service running on a different server in the cluster, if necessary. Conversely, you can configure the same selection of servers as the migratable target for both JTA and JMS, to ensure that the services remain co-located on the same server in the cluster.
JDBC is a highly stateful client-DBMS protocol, in which the DBMS connection and transactional state are tied directly to the socket between the DBMS process and the client (driver). For this reason, failover of a connection is not supported. If a WebLogic Server instance dies, any JDBC connections that it managed will die, and the DBMS(s) will roll back any transactions that were under way. Any applications affected will have to restart their current transactions from the beginning. All JDBC objects associated with dead connections will also be defunct. Clustered JDBC eases the reconnection process: the cluster-aware nature of WebLogic data sources in external client applications allow a client to request another connection from them if the server instance that was hosting the previous connection fails.
If you have replicated, synchronized database instances, you can use a JDBC multi data source to support database failover. In such an environment, if a client cannot obtain a connection from one data source in the multi data source because the data source doesn't exist or because database connectivity from the data source is down, WebLogic Server will attempt to obtain a connection from the next data source in the list of data sources.
For instructions on clustering JDBC objects, see Configure Clustered JDBC.
Note: Any data source assigned to a multi data source must be configured to test its connections at reserve time. This is the only way a pool can verify it has a good connection, and the only way a multi data source can know when to fail over to the next pool on its list.