How To Set Up A Load-Balanced MySQL Cluster - Page 5

6 Configure The Load Balancers

Our MySQL cluster is finished now, and you could start using it now. However, we don't have a single IP address that we can use to access the cluster, which means you must configure your applications in a way that a part of it uses the MySQL cluster node 1 (, and the rest uses the other node ( Of course, all your applications could just use one node, but what's the point then in having a cluster if you do not split up the load between the cluster nodes? Another problem is, what happens if one of the cluster nodes fails? Then the applications that use this cluster node cannot work anymore.

The solution is to have a load balancer in front of the MySQL cluster which (as its name suggests) balances the load between the MySQL cluster nodes. The load blanacer configures a virtual IP address that is shared between the cluster nodes, and all your applications use this virtual IP address to access the cluster. If one of the nodes fails, then your applications will still work, because the load balancer redirects the requests to the working node.

Now in this scenario the load balancer becomes the bottleneck. What happens if the load balancer fails? Therefore we will configure two load balancers ( and in an active/passive setup, which means we have one active load balancer, and the other one is a hot-standby and becomes active if the active one fails. Both load balancers use heartbeat to check if the other load balancer is still alive, and both load balancers also use ldirectord, the actual load balancer the splits up the load onto the cluster nodes. heartbeat and ldirectord are provided by the Ultra Monkey package that we will install.

It is important that and have support for IPVS (IP Virtual Server) in their kernels. IPVS implements transport-layer load balancing inside the Linux kernel.

6.1 Install Ultra Monkey

Ok, let's start: first we enable IPVS on and /

modprobe ip_vs_dh
modprobe ip_vs_ftp
modprobe ip_vs
modprobe ip_vs_lblc
modprobe ip_vs_lblcr
modprobe ip_vs_lc
modprobe ip_vs_nq
modprobe ip_vs_rr
modprobe ip_vs_sed
modprobe ip_vs_sh
modprobe ip_vs_wlc
modprobe ip_vs_wrr

In order to load the IPVS kernel modules at boot time, we list the modules in /etc/modules: /

vi /etc/modules


Now we edit /etc/apt/sources.list and add the Ultra Monkey repositories (don't remove the other repositories), and then we install Ultra Monkey: /

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

deb sarge main
deb-src sarge main

apt-get update
apt-get install ultramonkey libdbi-perl libdbd-mysql-perl libmysqlclient14-dev

Now Ultra Monkey is being installed. If you see this warning:

  ¦ libsensors3 not functional                                               ¦
¦ ¦
¦ It appears that your kernel is not compiled with sensors support. As a ¦
¦ result, libsensors3 will not be functional on your system. ¦
¦ ¦
¦ If you want to enable it, have a look at "I2C Hardware Sensors Chip ¦
¦ support" in your kernel configuration. ¦

you can ignore it.

Answer the following questions:

Do you want to automatically load IPVS rules on boot?
<-- No

Select a daemon method.
<-- none

The libdbd-mysql-perl package we've just installed does not work with MySQL 5 (we use MySQL 5 on our MySQL cluster...), so we install the newest DBD::mysql Perl package: /

cd /tmp
tar xvfz DBD-mysql-3.0002.tar.gz
cd DBD-mysql-3.0002
perl Makefile.PL
make install

We must enable packet forwarding: /

vi /etc/sysctl.conf

# Enables packet forwarding
net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1

sysctl -p

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19 Comment(s)

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From: Anonymous at: 2006-03-27 18:10:41

This is rather unfortunate, but without foreign keys support and memory-only storage MySQL cluster is not a really viable solution for most RDBMS users.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-03-28 22:06:44

The InnoDB engine supports foriegn keys and works with the MySQL cluster so your comment is incorrect sir.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-03-31 07:26:23

Actually you are wrong mate. While InnoDB in MySQL supports foriegn keys, you can not use InnoDB while setting up the MySQL Cluster support described in this article. You can only use the NDB backend which is a simplified version of MyISAM. It also has the limitation of being completely memory resident.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-05-28 17:22:00

NDB Cluster has *nothing* to do with MyISAM. NDB has a long history outside of MySQL, and it has no relationship whatsoever to MyISAM.

From: at: 2007-07-06 20:06:50

We had MySQL Cluster running as the backend for a cluster of webapps and it had numerous problems.  Many of them just from lack of needed features.  I opened a lot of enhancement requests to MySQL about these.  Some like all 'mysql' tables are not centrolized but separate would nearly drive you insane.  We had to try synchronizing the user tables between all the client nodes.  Another issue is that when a user installs a webapp, if one of the client nodes happened to be down for maintenance at the time, that node would never learn of the new database the user just setup so if the load balancer directed him to that client node later on everything would error.  There are just many architectural issues with MySQL Cluster that were never very well thought through.  It has a long way to go to being enterprise ready.  And performance was abysmal to boot.


From: Anonymous at: 2006-03-28 23:51:43

Memory only storage is a significant limitation. I hope this is fixed in a future version.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-04-23 15:32:17

Well, not anymore:

In MySQL 5.1, the memory-only requirement of MySQL Cluster is removed and operational data may now be accessed both on disk and memory. A DBA can specify that table data can reside on disk, in memory, or a combination of main memory and disk (although a single table can only be assigned to either disk or main memory). Disk-based support includes new storage structures - tablespaces – that are used to logically house table data on disk. In addition, new memory caches are in place to manage the transfer of data stored in tablespaces to memory for fast access to repeatedly referenced information.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-04-23 16:13:16

"Memory only storage is a significant limitation. I hope this is fixed in a future version." This isn't a limitation to be fixed, but the fundamental tradeoff in MySQL Cluster Server's design: by accepting the limitation of being memory-based instead of disk based, it can be several orders of magnitude faster. If your data can't fit in RAM, and you don't need the performance, you should use one of the disk-based table types.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-03-29 18:44:18

The cluster management software seems to be a single point of failure; that is, if the load balancer running this software goes down, doesn't the cluster either go down or end up with inconsistent data ("split brain", as referenced in the article)?

I'm very new to clustering, so I'd be happy to learn why I'm wrong!

From: Anonymous at: 2006-05-05 12:24:30

The storage and MySQL Server nodes are not dependent on the management server for their execution. Its purpose is only to manage the cluster. It may fail and be restarted any number of times without affecting the running MySQL Cluster.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-04-23 15:33:59

You use Debian and install package from source. Don't store files in /usr/bin. Use /usr/local or /opt.

Custom packages installed in /usr can be broken by Debian packaging system.

From: Anonymous at: 2006-08-27 00:30:27

Actually, if you use chkinstall instead of 'make instal', it'll add the package to your apt setup so the files won't be overwritten

From: at: 2007-05-31 14:28:28

You can make each balancer a management server and eliminate a single point of failure.

Install manager on both lb and add both to config.ini


# Managment Server 1


HostName=                      # the IP of the First Management Server




# Managment Server 2


HostName=                      # the IP of the Second Management Server




then on each data node modify my.cnf


ndb-connectstring = "host=,host=" 

connect-string = "host=,host="

connect-string = "host=,host="


make sure to run ndbd --initial




From: at: 2008-12-22 12:39:24

I wanted to know whether or not there will be significant changes in performance if we run apache with load balancing enabled with mysql cluster.

Has anyone tried it before ?


From: Elumalai Ranganathan at: 2009-05-26 07:51:23

 Thanks a lot! This document helped a lot in configuring MYSQL cluster. I have a query. I am going to configure web server on the nodes using Tomcat, Is it possible to use the mysql virtual ip for tomcat configurtion...

From: Anonymous at: 2010-12-06 09:40:32

 This is part 1 of a three posts series:
 - MySQL Load-Balanced Cluster Guide – Part 1 - setting up the servers themselves and configuring MySQL replication.

 - MySQL Load-Balanced Cluster Guide – Part 2 - set up a script to monitor the status of your MySQL cluster nodes, which we’ll use in the next guide to set up our proxy.

 - MySQL Load-Balanced Cluster Guide – Part 3 - setting up the load balancer with HAProxy, using the monitoring scripts

From: Altaf Hussain at: 2013-11-04 10:06:41

Very elaborative tutorial I must say. A noob coming here can do a lot after reading the tutorial !!

From: Jack Chen at: 2012-08-27 14:04:32

 Thanks for the detailed example.  I would like to share one problem I had when following this document.

When I first set it up on Centos, I only saw two ndbd nodes connected to the management node, there was no mysqld node connected.

Took me quite some time to figure out the problem : the ndbd process on the ndb node are listening on two or three random ports and the ndb_mgmd process on management node need to connect to those ports. After I stop iptables on the ndb nodes ( iptables on management node was already configured to allow incoming 1186 port connection ), the cluster was started.

Mysql's document for ndbd configuration seems very poor,  I couldn't find how to make the ndbd to use a fixed port, so I have to shutdown the iptables on ndb nodes.

Maybe it's because I am using a old version mysql 5.0.21? seems new version mysql doesn't have max version any more.

From: Pankaj at: 2014-03-11 19:29:46

Really appreciate this guide. The person who has written it made it very simple to setup a mysql cluster. I am very thankful to that person.