Multiserver Setup with Virtual Servers - Infrastrcutre

Discussion in 'ISPConfig 3 Priority Support' started by arraken, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. arraken

    arraken Member HowtoForge Supporter


    At the moment I got an ISPConfig3 Server running in a standard singleserver setup, meaning all services are running on one root server (from hetzner).

    Now it's time to move on to a more sophisticated multiserver setup. My goal is to have 2-3 physical servers, with multiple virtual servers running on them. However i'm rather new to virtualization, and I never did a multiserver setup before, so I have a few questions.

    Below you see the general setup I want to achieve.


    From the tutorials and the posts in the forum I have read, I came up with the following procedure:

    1. Install OpenVZ and ISPConfig on Root1 following this tutorial:

    2. Following the same tutorial, create 3 VM's on root1 for www1, DNS1 and DB

    Now my first question:
    Q1: I want to install OpenVZ VMs for Mail, DNS2, WWW2, and DB2 on the Root2 and Root3 servers, as shown in the picture. I want to create and manage those VM's through the ISPConfig-Interface on Root1. How can that be done, and what do I have to install on Root2 and Root3. Only OpenVZ, or also ISPConfig as slave?

    If this all works as planned, I should have an infrastructure into which I can install an ISPConfig multiserver setup.

    Regarding that, I have another question:
    Q2: Where should I create the ISPConfig master for my multiserver setup?

    A: Should I make the ISPConfig installation on Root1 which manages the VM's the ISPConfig-Master
    B: Should I make WWW1 the ISPConfig master, which would result in a very similar setup to this tutorial:

    Option B would have the advantage that I don't mix my "virtual-machine management" with my "webhosting management". The ISPConfig installation on Root1 would only be used for VM's. But does this create any problems I may overlook?

    Q3: I also found this tutorial for a multiserver setup with OpenVZ which uses the OpenVZ Web Panel to manage the VMs

    Are there any advantages / disadvantages to using ISPConfig for managing the VM's?

    Regarding OpenVZ in general I have another question:
    Q4: I've read that Ubuntu 12.04 and OpenVZ don't work out of the box? (Discussed here:

    I have been only working with ubuntu server until now, and ideally I want to keep it that way. I found a guide by Falko which describes how to install openvz in Ubuntu 13.10 with some workarounds - but i'm not sure if it's a good idea to use that in production? The main goal of my setup is that it's stable and easily maintainable.

    So, that's all for now - I know that's a lot of questions, but I really want to get my setup right from the start, and I hope there are some experts who can help me out here.

    If I get my setup working and everything works as planned, I promise to make a nice summary so others may learn from it too. :)
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  2. arraken

    arraken Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Hmm - nobody who can help me out a bit? You dont have to answer all the questions - I'm thankful for every bit of advice. ;)

    On another note: I'm thinking about copying this post into the "installation/configuration" forum, because in this forum not everybody can post a reply. Is that ok, or can some moderator just move or link the thread there?
  3. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    For the openvz hosts, i wont use ubuntu. Better use debian, for debian you can get kernels from If you know ubuntu, then you know debian as well.

    Regarding the overall setup: i would install a minimal debian setup with openvz, then create a vm and install ispconfig for the master in that vm and attach the ispconfig in all other vm to this one. You can even install ispconfig on the host as slave and attach it to the master instance in the vm. The master vm will not be visible in ispconfig though.

    You may use an oher vm controlpanel to control the hosts, thats a matter of personal choice as it does not matter for the ispconfig inside the vms how the vms are managed. Peronally, i dont use a vm controlpanel at all, i create and manage the vms on the shell and use ispconfig only inside the virtusl machines.
  4. arraken

    arraken Member HowtoForge Supporter

    Hi Till,

    thanks for the answer, you made my day! :)

    I think i will do as you suggested and only install ispconfig in the VMs.

    Regarding the host OS: what do you think of CentOS? The OpenVZ guys recommend it over debian, partly because it has a longer release cycle and is based on the very stable RHEL.

    It is not as similar to ubuntu as debian is, but maybe it's worth to learn/try it? Or is it generally not a good idea to run CentOS on the host system if i want to run ubuntu in the VM Containers?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  5. arraken

    arraken Member HowtoForge Supporter

    And I have another question: I am interested in building HA into my multiserver setup. I found this guide which seems to do exactly what i need, but not in a multiserver environment:

    I read a discussion where you said this should equally work with a multiserver setup, which is great. But at the moment I'm a bit overwhelmed with combining the multiserver-setup in OpenVZ VM's with the HA-Setup because everything is kinda new to me. Do you think it would work if I proceed in this order:

    1. Setup the "normal" multiserver setup.
    2. Check if everything works / play around with some test-webistes and test-ISPConfig users to get comfortable with the setup.
    3. Setup the additional VM's for the HA setup and configure MySQL Master/Master replication and Unison etc. as described in the HA tutorial.

    So in other words: Are there some obvious problems I will run into if I ignore the HA-related stuff at first, and add it at a later time?

    Sorry for all the "beginner questions", and thanks for your patience. :eek:
  6. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

    If the HA vm's are new vm's that you attach to your master, then it will work. Making a ha setup of existing vm's is a bit complicated, so better dont try that and start with new VM#s for your ha setup.
  7. arraken

    arraken Member HowtoForge Supporter

    By existing vm's you mean vm's which have already some ISPConfig Clients on them? So it's complicated if I try to make a HA setup with an existing www1 and www2 vm, where both vm's already have some clients/websites running on them.

    But if all the vm's in my setup are created new, for a completely new and "empty" HA setup it should work like I described here:

    Did i understand that correctly?

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