En:Debian High Availability

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YaCy High-Availability Configuration on Debian

A high-availabilty configuration is usually ensured using a redundant set-up of a product. We will do this with YaCy in the following way:

  • run two YaCy instances, one will be the master node and the other is a replication node
  • set-up index replication between both nodes
  • add a full index back-up as a regular and automatic process
  • add an automatic peer re-start on peer failure
  • add automated software update without service downtime

A picture of this set-up can be found here: http://yacy.net/material/YaCy_High_Availability_Configuration.png

Prepare Debian

We will not use the Debian Installation process here because we want to install two YaCy peers on the same computer. We will use the tarball release of YaCy and put the same application in two separate directories. We will use a linux account 'yacyappliance' for the home of the application. Therefore we first create this user. You can omit this step and use an existing user {myuser} instead; if you do so, replace all ~yacyappliance with ~{myuser} and /home/yacyappliance with /home/{myuser}.

As root, do:

adduser yacyappliance

We will use some debian packes:

apt-get update
apt-get install ant openjdk-7-jdk openjdk-7-jre-headless git wget

Then log in into the new account yacyappliance.

Install Redundant YaCy Applications

We could use the official tarball from yacy.net here but to get full availability of YaCy updates without the dependency on official update servers we will use a self-generated YaCy update taken from the git repositoy.

As user yacyappliance do

git clone git://github.com/yacy/yacy_search_server.git yacy_deploy
cd yacy_deploy
ant clean all dist

This writes a fresh YaCy tarball release to ~yacyappliance/yacy_deploy/RELEASE/

We will unpack this tarball twice and create the two YaCy peers yacy0 (the master) and yacy1 (the replication peer).

mkdir yacy0
mkdir yacy1
cd yacy_deploy/RELEASE
tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../yacy0 --strip-components=1
tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../yacy1 --strip-components=1

We can now update the peers yacy0 and yacy1 just by overwriting the current code with new code that we create ourself (don't do this now!):

cd ~/yacy_deploy && git pull origin master && ant clean all dist
cd ~/yacy_deploy/RELEASE && tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../yacy0 --strip-components=1
cd ~/yacy_deploy/RELEASE && tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../yacy1 --strip-components=1

Now prepare the peer yacy0 to use the 'allip' network which will allow you to index both, intranet and internet addresses without connecting the YaCy P2P network: edit the file ~/yacy0/defaults/yacy.init and search the line containing network.unit.definition, set the value of that property to defaults/yacy.network.allip.unit

You can now start YaCy the first time to set an administration account. This is needed to configure the second peer yacy1 based on the content of the first peer yacy0

~/yacy0/bin/passwd.sh {newpassword}

Now the DATA directory in ~/yacy0 was ceated and we can clone this to yacy1, run

cp -R ~/yacy0/DATA ~/yacy1/DATA && sed "s/port=8090/port=8091/" -i ~/yacy1/DATA/SETTINGS/yacy.conf && rm -f ~/yacy1/DATA/WORK/api.bheap

The second peer needs a different port. Therefore the sed command replaces the port 8090 by 8091. We also do not want that the second peer does the same crawling as configured in yacy0, therefore we also delete the api file. We need this command later, therefore we create a file ~/replicate_all.sh with the following content:

cp -R ~/yacy0/DATA ~/yacy1/DATA_NEW
sed "s/port=8090/port=8091/" -i ~/yacy1/DATA_NEW/SETTINGS/yacy.conf
rm -f ~/yacy1/DATA_NEW/WORK/api.bheap
rm -f ~/yacy1/DATA
mv ~/yacy1/DATA_NEW ~/yacy1/DATA

We will install a load balancer for the two peers later and because this script ensures that one of the peers runs at any time, this is a update replication of the complete peer configuration. But because we can do an index-only replication as well during uptime of the peer, you should use that script only if you do a reconfiguration of the primary peer.

We can now start both peers

~/yacy0/startYACY.sh && ~/yacy1/startYACY.sh

Adding a https Gateway in Front of the Administration Interface

Security is part of an availability strategy and therefore all production modifications should be made through a secure interface. To apply a ssl encryption in front of the primary peer, follow the instructions in En:YaCyOverHTTPS

Auto-Start for YaCy

Because the two YaCys are not installed using the debian package manager, there is no autostart for these applications. We will create the autostart manually. Become root and create a file in /etc/init.d/yacy with the following content:

#! /bin/sh
# Provides:          YaCy
# Required-Start:    $local_fs $remote_fs $network $time
# Required-Stop:     $local_fs $remote_fs $network $time
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: YaCy Search Engine
case "$1" in
  su - yacyappliance -c "/home/yacyappliance/yacy0/startYACY.sh"
  su - yacyappliance -c "/home/yacyappliance/yacy1/startYACY.sh"
  su - yacyappliance -c "/home/yacyappliance/yacy0/stopYACY.sh"
  su - yacyappliance -c "/home/yacyappliance/yacy1/stopYACY.sh"
  exit 3

and make it executable and linked with

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/yacy
sudo update-rc.d yacy defaults

This will start and stop both YaCy instances automatically.

Fail-Over Access to Redundant YaCy Installations using a Reverse Proxy

We will use a nginx http server and use it as a reverse proxy with fail-over as load balancer for the two YaCy that we are running now. Become root, run

apt-get install nginx

and edit the file /etc/nginx/nginx.conf. Locate the http section and modify it:

  • add a comment in front of the "include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;" line to disable it
  • add the following at the end of the http section:
upstream yacyappliance {
 server   localhost:8090;
 server   localhost:8091;
server {
 listen 8100;
 server_name yacy-appliance;
 location / {
  proxy_pass  http://yacyappliance;
  proxy_redirect off;
  proxy_set_header   Host             $host;
  proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP        $remote_addr;
  proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For  $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
  client_max_body_size       10m;
  client_body_buffer_size    128k;
  proxy_connect_timeout      3s;
  proxy_send_timeout         10s;
  proxy_read_timeout         10s;
  proxy_buffer_size          4k;
  proxy_buffers              4 32k;
  proxy_busy_buffers_size    64k;
  proxy_temp_file_write_size 64k;
 location \.(jpg|png|gif|jpeg|css)$ {
  proxy_buffering on;
  proxy_cache_valid 200 120m;
  expires 864000;

This will run nginx at port 8100; if you want to run it at port 80 then just replace the 8100 with 80. Finally run

/etc/init.d/nginx restart

and open http://{yourhost}:8100 to check that nginx is running and successfully routes the access from 8100 to either 8090 or 8091. You can also stop one of the yacy0 or yacy1 and the search interface at http://{yourhost}:8100 will still be available.

Add a Heartbeat Check for the YaCy Peers

There is a check-alive script which checks if a YaCy server responds on the web interface and restarts the application if it does not respond. This script can be called on a regular basis using a cronjob. As root, edit /etc/crontab and add the following lines

 0 * * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy0/bin && ./checkalive.sh
15 * * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy1/bin && ./checkalive.sh
30 * * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy0/bin && ./checkalive.sh
45 * * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy1/bin && ./checkalive.sh

This will cause that twice an hour each peer is checked and restarted, if needed. This means a maximum downtime of 15 minutes if both peers fail.

Test Indexing, Replication and Fail-Over Access

We must put some document data to check fail-over after a replication. Open http://{yourhost}:8090/CrawlStartExpert_p.html and start a web crawl. When the crawl has created some data in the search index, first test that a search request succeeds at http://{yourhost}:8090/

Then call (as user yacyappliance)

~/yacy1/bin/indexrestore.sh `~/yacy0/bin/indexdump.sh`

This replicates the index from yacy0 to yacy1. You can now open http://{yourhost}:8091/ and get the same search result as before. During the replication process the index in yacy0 is first unmounted and during this process the search inteface does not respond on search requests. At that time the load balancer on http://{yourhost}:8100/ should switch to the second peer. When the dump is done, the index in the second peer becomes unavailable during reading of the dump and the load balancer should switch to the first peer again.

Automatically do an Index Backup and Replication

We want to have an automated and combined backup, replicate and stale backup cleaning process to ensure that the replication peer is always updated to the index of the primary peer while keeping dumps as a back-up for emergency cases.

For this, we create a backup-directory. As user yacyappliance do

mkdir ~/indexbackup

to create a storage directory for the index backup dumps. Now you can create a backup with

mv `~/yacy0/bin/indexdump.sh` ~/indexbackup/

To create such a backup automatically once every day during night-time, add the following line to /etc/crontab

 5 3 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/ && mv `yacy0/bin/indexdump.sh` indexbackup/

Then, every night a 3:05h the index is dumped. This should not take more than 25 minutes because the next checkalive ping happens at 3:30h according to the heartbeat configuration.

We use the index dump generated in the backup process to feed the index dump to the replication peer yacy1. This is done manually by calling

~/yacy1/bin/indexrestore.sh ~/indexbackup/`ls -1tr ~/indexbackup | tail -1`

and automatically using the following entry in /etc/crontab

50 3 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/ && yacy1/bin/indexrestore.sh indexbackup/`ls -1tr indexbackup | tail -1`

which will use the dump created 45 minutes before. Again this should not take more than 25 minutes because the peer yacy1 gets the next heartbeat ping at 4:15. Feel free to add more backup/replicate lines to the crontab to get index backups from the primary peer to the replication peer more frequently; i.e. add 6 hours three times to make an backup at 3:05h, 9:05h, 15:05h and 21:05h while doing a backup to the replication peer at 3:50h, 9:50h, 15:50h and 21:50h.

Finally we need a clean-up process to removed stale backups. This can be done with

cd ~/indexbackup && find * -type f -mtime +7 -delete

to delete all backups which are older than seven days. To do this automatically, put

20 4 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/indexbackup && find * -type f -mtime +7 -delete

into the crontab. This will delete the update ten minutes after the replication happened. Please modify the crontab lines if you wish to do backup and replication more/less often.

Automatically Update Debian

This is optional but recommended to install all new debian updates automatically. As user root edit the file /etc/crontab and add the following line:

20 3 * * * root apt-get update && apt-get -y upgrade

This will update your server every night at 3:20h automatically.

Automatically Update to Latest Code Changes

This optional function will cause that the YaCy Search Appliance will always be up-to-date to the latest YaCy code changes. As user yacyappliance do:

cd ~/yacy_deploy
git pull --tags origin master && ant clean all dist && cd RELEASE
../../yacy0/stopYACY.sh && tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../yacy0 --strip-components=1 && ../../yacy0/startYACY.sh
../../yacy1/stopYACY.sh && tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../yacy1 --strip-components=1 && ../../yacy1/startYACY.sh

We can run this also automatically, twice a day in a 12 hour distance by alternating the peers to prevent that a bad release destroys both peers at the same time. To do this, we wrap the commands above in shell scripts and call them from the crontab. As user yacyappliance create the following files:


cd ~/yacy_deploy
git pull --tags origin master
ant clean all dist


timeout 120s $1/stopYACY.sh
rm -f $1/lib/*
rm -Rf $1/htroot
cd yacy_deploy/RELEASE/
tar xfz `ls -1tr | tail -1` -C ../../$1 --strip-components=1

Set the executable flag of update.sh and upgrade.sh. Then, in /etc/crontab, add the following lines:

30 4 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy_deploy && ./update.sh
40 4 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy_deploy && ./upgrade.sh yacy0
15 18 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy_deploy && ./update.sh
25 18 * * * yacyappliance cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy_deploy && ./upgrade.sh yacy1

Finally we should clean up the generated releases the same way as we delete old backup files. This can be done with

cd ~/yacy_deploy/RELEASE && find * -type f -mtime +7 -delete

and as a cron job with

20 8 * * * cd /home/yacyappliance/yacy_deploy/RELEASE && find * -type f -mtime +7 -delete

Usage of this High Availability Configuration

The public search interface is at http://{yourhost}:8100 (or http://{yourhost} if you set the reverse proxy port to 80). Thats the URL you propagate as the search interface. To administrate the search interface, use the address http://{yourhost}:8090, or better: https://{yourhost} if you followed the instructions in En:YaCyOverHTTPS.

Please note that http://{yourhost} is the gateway for the load balancer while https://{yourhost} is only the access point for the yacy0-peer and administration tasks.

Every time you changed the search interface configuration (like a new skin or different ranking), you must do a full (downtime) replication using the script ~/replicate_all.sh (shut down both peers before this) but it would be easy to make this as a high-availability task (shut down yacy0 first, tar the DATA dir, start up yacy0, shut down yacy1, extract DATA to yacy1, start up yacy1). There is no need to do this for index updates after you started a web crawl, because the index replication process does that once a day automatically. You might want to do this more often by adjusting the line in crontab.