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Software Load Balancer

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Hello,

I have read about using PPM Center Web Server as the software load balancer, but everywhere I have looked I have not been able to find the information of how to set it up to work as a load balancer, is there a document I have not found that would be able to explain this process?

 

Currently I have 4 nodes in 2 different servers and the base_url on the DNS points to the servers in a round robin fashion ie. ppmsbox.mydomain.com 10.09.12.255, 10.09.12.254

 

The Nodes are set up let's say 10.09.12.255:7090, 10.09.12.254:6090 and so forth, how would I be able to load balance the load for all four nodes without using an external load balancer?

 

If this is possible I would apprecite some help pointing me in the right direction and if it's not possible the help will still be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Mig

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Software Load Balancer

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Hi Mig,

 

I have never heard of a setup where the base_url doesn't point to a single "fixed" Machine. Having the DNS configured to have BASE_URL point to a different PPM node every time looks like a very dangerous thing to do, as since there's no session replication in the PPM cluster, you need to make sure that once a user is logged on specific PPM node of your cluster, all subsequent HTTP calls are routed to the same node until their session eventually ends.

 

As for using PPM "Web Server" (i.e. Tomcat, be it within JBoss in PPM 9.1X/9.2X or just plain Tomcat7 in 9.3X) as a load balancer, then no, it's not possible, because PPM is seen as a black box and you are not supposed to have access to the core configuration of tomcat (except through a few parameters that are actually exposed through server.conf and copied to Tomcat's server.xml config file when running kUpdateHtml.sh ).

 

The "supported" way to do load balancing on a PPM cluster is either to have a dedicated Hardware load balancer in front of the PPM cluster (F5 for example), or to put a Web Server in front of PPM servers (Apache or IIS are the most common choices) and to use this Web server to provide load balancing using mod_jk. And don't forget to enable sticky sessions to ensure that one user is always routed to the same PPM node!

 

Thanks,

Etienne.

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Software Load Balancer

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Hi Mig,

 

I have never heard of a setup where the base_url doesn't point to a single "fixed" Machine. Having the DNS configured to have BASE_URL point to a different PPM node every time looks like a very dangerous thing to do, as since there's no session replication in the PPM cluster, you need to make sure that once a user is logged on specific PPM node of your cluster, all subsequent HTTP calls are routed to the same node until their session eventually ends.

 

As for using PPM "Web Server" (i.e. Tomcat, be it within JBoss in PPM 9.1X/9.2X or just plain Tomcat7 in 9.3X) as a load balancer, then no, it's not possible, because PPM is seen as a black box and you are not supposed to have access to the core configuration of tomcat (except through a few parameters that are actually exposed through server.conf and copied to Tomcat's server.xml config file when running kUpdateHtml.sh ).

 

The "supported" way to do load balancing on a PPM cluster is either to have a dedicated Hardware load balancer in front of the PPM cluster (F5 for example), or to put a Web Server in front of PPM servers (Apache or IIS are the most common choices) and to use this Web server to provide load balancing using mod_jk. And don't forget to enable sticky sessions to ensure that one user is always routed to the same PPM node!

 

Thanks,

Etienne.

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Re: Software Load Balancer

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Hi Scorpex,

 

You need to have IIS, APACHE or Sun Java WS.

 

Steps to do the integration are in the Administration and Installation Guide for 9.30. Please check Chapter 5: Advanced System Configuration on page 141. Attached.

 

I have also attached the Support matrix guide so you can check exact versions.

 

I attached guides for 9.20 and 9.30 versions

 

Kindly let us know if you have further questions.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks,

Jonathan

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Re: Software Load Balancer

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Okay,

So I will go ahead and just have the DNS  point to a single "fixed" machine and get the Network team to add me to the hardware load balancer, I was trying to see if I could avoid that step, but based on your response it seems that it is the best way to go ahead and proceed.

 

This is a new non-production server I am setting up in order to test the upgrade from 9.14. to 9.3x and get an idea of the timeframe it would take for the whole process to complete.

 

Thanks!

Mig

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Software Load Balancer

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Hi Mig,

 

FYI, if you have a load balancer in front of PPM (either hardware or a web server), then BASE_URL MUST point to that load balancer.

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Re: Software Load Balancer

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Hi Ettiene,

So what you're saying is that if I get the DNS to point to the load balancer let's say ppm.mydomain.com <Load Balancer> and then set base_url parameter to point to http://ppm.mydomain.com is not the recomended configuration, or wouldn't that technically be the same?

 

The reason for that question is that currently our production environment is set up that way.

 

Thanks!

Mig

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Software Load Balancer

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Hi Mig,

 

No, this is indeed the correct way. 

 

I was mistaken when you stated that you would point BASE_URL to a fixed machine, I thought you meant pointing BASE_URL to a fixed node of your PPM Cluster, which would be wrong. BASE_URL has to point at the load balancer in a clustered environment (the fact that you put a DNS in the mix has no impact). 

 

Sorry for the confusion,

 

Thanks,

Etienne.

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