Installing MariaDB Galera Cluster on Windows Azure

MariaDB Enterprise Cluster in the Azure Marketplace

Update: this article describes how to install MariaDB manually on Azure, using the Classic stack. If you are looking for an out-of-the-box solution, you will now find MariaDB Enterprise Cluster in the Azure Marketplace : a production-grade configuration that you can deploy in one click. Check it out!

Install MariaDB Galera Cluster and create a VM Image

First, we need to install the MariaDB/Galera bits on a virtual machine that we will use as an image to create all the instances in our cluster. Let's create an Ubuntu 12.04 VM:

azure vm create mariadb b39f27a8b8c64d52b05eac6a62ebad85__Ubuntu-12_04_3-LTS-amd64-server-20140130-en-us-30GB --location "West Europe" --vm-size small --ssh 22 --ssh-cert myCert.pem azureuser 

Then we will install the MariaDB Galera Cluster by following the installation instructions:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xcbcb082a1bb943db sudo add-apt-repository 'deb precise main' sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install mariadb-server 

We will now deprovision, shut down and capture the VM image.

In the VM, run:

sudo waagent -deprovision 

Then log off and from your admin workstation:

azure vm shutdown mariadb azure vm capture mariadb mariadb-galera-image 

Create the Virtual Machines

Now that we have a base image, let's start the virtual machines that will form the cluster. Looking at the Galera Cluster deployment variants, I am aiming for variant 3a, i.e. a three-node cluster with a distributed load-balancer, in this case using the JDBC driver built-in load balancing capabilities. However I would also like to be able to test variant 3, using the Windows Azure load-balancer. This means I need to have the VMs in the same Cloud Service (to be able to load-balance the traffic) and in a Virtual Network (so I can address each node with a stable IP).

I am going to use three nodes, as recommended in the Getting Started document to avoid "split-brain" situations. However, note that Galera also provides an arbitrator that can be used as a lightweight member instead of a full node.

Let's create an Affinity Group:

azure account affinity-group create --location "West Europe" galerawest 

And a VNet:

azure network vnet create --address-space --cidr 8 --subnet-name mariadb --subnet-start-ip --subnet-cidr 24 --affinity-group galerawest galeravnet 

And now will create three VMs for the cluster. We need to put them in the right VNet/subnet, and we use the --connect option to put them in the same Cloud Service.

azure vm create -v --vm-name mariadb1 --virtual-network-name galeravnet --subnet-names mariadb --affinity-group galerawest \ --vm-size small --ssh 22 --ssh-cert ./certs/myCert.pem --no-ssh-password mariadbcluster mariadb-galera-image tom azure vm create -v --vm-name mariadb2 --virtual-network-name galeravnet --subnet-names mariadb --affinity-group galerawest \ --vm-size small --ssh 23 --ssh-cert ./certs/myCert.pem --no-ssh-password --connect mariadbcluster mariadb-galera-image tom azure vm create -v --vm-name mariadb3 --virtual-network-name galeravnet --subnet-names mariadb --affinity-group galerawest \ --vm-size small --ssh 24 --ssh-cert ./certs/myCert.pem --no-ssh-password --connect mariadbcluster mariadb-galera-image tom 

We now have our three nodes. For the sake of simplicity, we won't add a DNS server to the setup and just use the IP addresses of our machines. In our case, these will be, and

Configuring the cluster

We are now going to configure our cluster. I used Codership's Galera configuration page as reference, as well as a couple how-to articles:

First, stop the mysqld that is probably running on all the nodes after the initial installation:

sudo service mysql stop 

We are going to create a new configuration file for the cluster parameters, i.e.:

vi /etc/mysql/conf.d/cluster.cnf 

And here is the configuration I used:

[mysqld] query_cache_size=0 binlog_format=ROW default-storage-engine=innodb innodb_autoinc_lock_mode=2 query_cache_type=0 bind-address= # Galera Provider Configuration wsrep_provider=/usr/lib/galera/ #wsrep_provider_options="gcache.size=32G" # Galera Cluster Configuration wsrep_cluster_name="test_cluster" wsrep_cluster_address="gcomm://,," # Galera Synchronization Congifuration wsrep_sst_method=rsync #wsrep_sst_auth=user:pass # Galera Node Configuration wsrep_node_address="" wsrep_node_name="mariadb1" 

As you can see, I gave my cluster a wsrep_cluster_name and listed the nodes' IP addresses in wsrep_cluster_address. You have copy this configuration file on all the nodes, and change the wsrep_node_name and wsrep_node_address parameters on each.

You should also copy Debian "maintenance" configuration from the first node to all the others, so that the credentials for the special debian-sys-maint user are the same on all nodes. Just copy the contents of /etc/mysql/debian.cnf to the other nodes. If you want to quickly edit a configuration file on a remote node as root, you can use:

ssh -t sudo vi /etc/mysql/debian.cnf 

Adding disks

I am solely focusing on testing clustering here, but at this point you should really attach a bunch of disks to each node, create a RAID array and change the datadir in MySQL's my.cnf in order to store the data properly.

Create Storage Accounts, one per VM:

for i in {1..3}; do azure storage account create --affinity-group galerawest galerastor$i; done 

Let's create 4 x 256GB disks per VM, each group of 4 going to a separate Storage Account:

for j in {1..3}; do for i in {1..4}; do azure vm disk attach-new mariadb$j 256 http://galerastor$$j-disk-$i.vhd; done; done 

Once you have created and attached the disks, you should see four new devices appear; /dev/sdc to /dev/sdf:

root@mariadb1:~# ls -l /dev/sd* brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 0 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sda brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 1 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sda1 brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 16 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sdb brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 17 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sdb1 brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 32 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sdc brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 48 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sdd brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 64 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sde brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 80 Mar 18 15:14 /dev/sdf 

We are now going to create a RAID striped array using mdadm.

On each machine, install mdadm:

apt-get install mdadm 

On Ubuntu, APT insists on installing Postfix as a dependency; just select "No configuration" in the Postfix configuration screen that pops up (you can always run dpkg-reconfigure postfix later).

Now let's create the stripez:

mdadm --create --verbose /dev/md0 --level=stripe --raid-devices=4 /dev/sdc /dev/sdd /dev/sde /dev/sdf 

Save the configuration:

mdadm --detail --scan >> /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf 

Create the filesystem, the mount point, and mount the disk:

mkfs.ext4 /dev/md0 mkdir /data mount -t ext4 /dev/md0 /data 

If you already have some data, you will need to move it to the new location. I will go for the easy option of moving the whole datadir and pointing to the new location with a symlink. You should not have to reconfigure AppArmor as instructed in the link above.

service mysql stop mv /var/lib/mysql /data ln -s /data/mysql /var/lib/mysql service mysql start 

You can do this operation on each node, one by one.

Starting the cluster

Now let's start the cluster on the first node, using --wsrep-new-cluster to create the cluster.

sudo service mysql start --wsrep-new-cluster 

And on the other nodes:

sudo service mysql start 

You should now be able to see the three nodes in the cluster:

mysql -u root -p -e 'SELECT VARIABLE_VALUE as "cluster size" FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.GLOBAL_STATUS WHERE VARIABLE_NAME="wsrep_cluster_size"' +--------------+ | cluster size | +--------------+ | 3 | +--------------+ 

Testing the cluster

Let's create a test database and table:

mysql -u root -p -e 'CREATE DATABASE playground;' mysql -u root -p -e 'CREATE TABLE playground.jdbctests ( id INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, t VARCHAR(64), h VARCHAR(64), d DATE, PRIMARY KEY(id) );' 

Now you should be able to connect to any node, insert data in the table, select from another node, etc., and make sure the replication works. If you need to allow access to the database:

grant all on playground.* to 'root'@'%' identified by '<password>'; 

Let's use a little test Java program too see how load-balancing works. You can download the MySQL JDBC driver, and read up on the multi-host connections capabilities.

I used some sample source code from the following blog post:

I changed the output messages somewhat and added logging of the node where the connection was established, so we can check our connections are load-balanced.

I also modified the JDBC URL:

Here is the code:

import java.sql.*;

public class MysqlTest
    public static void main (String[] args)
        Connection conn = null;

            // Connect to MySQL
                String userName = "root";
                String password = "xxx";
                String hosts = ",,";
                String url = "jdbc:mysql:loadbalance://" + hosts + "/playground?loadBalanceBlacklistTimeout=30000&connectTimeout=1000";
                Class.forName ("com.mysql.jdbc.Driver").newInstance ();
                conn = DriverManager.getConnection (url, userName, password);
                System.out.println ("Connected to " + conn.getMetaData().getURL());
            catch (Exception e)
                System.err.println ("Cannot connect to database server: " + e);

                Statement s = conn.createStatement ();
                int count;
                count = s.executeUpdate("INSERT INTO jdbctests (t, h, d) VALUES ('Inserted from Java code.', @@hostname, now());");
                s.close ();
                //System.out.println (count + " rows were inserted");
            catch (SQLException e)
                System.err.println ("Error when executing SQL statement: " + e);

            // Close connection
            if (conn != null)
                    conn.close ();
                    //System.out.println ("Database connection terminated");
                catch (Exception e)
                    System.err.println( "Error when closing database connection: " + e );
            try { Thread.sleep(1000); } catch( Exception e ) { }

You can compile and run the program like this:

javac java -cp ./mysql-connector-java-5.1.29/mysql-connector-java-5.1.29-bin.jar:. MysqlTest 

You should see connections going out to all the nodes in the cluster at random.

You can test the behavior in case of node failure by shutting down one of the nodes (e.g. from the admin portal). You should not see any errors, just one of the nodes disappearing from the log.


To use failover instead of load-balancing, you can change the JDBC URL to:

jdbc:mysql://" + hosts + "/playground?loadBalanceBlacklistTimeout=30000&connectTimeout=1000 

i.e. remove the "loadbalance" option. However this will use standard failover where the secondary host is considered a read-only slave.

To configure multi-master failover:

String hosts = "address=(type=master)(host=,address=(type=master)(host=,address=(type=master)(host="; String url = "jdbc:mysql://" + hosts + "/playground?autoReconnect=true&failOverReadOnly=false&connectTimeout=1000"; 

This extended syntax allows you to specify that the failover hosts are also masters.

Using the Windows Azure load balancer

As discussed above, you can also take advantage of the integrated Windows Azure load balancer (WALB) to implement the connection to the cluster.

Let's create a load-balancer set:

azure vm endpoint create --lb-set-name mysql mariadb1 3306 azure vm endpoint create --lb-set-name mysql mariadb2 3306 azure vm endpoint create --lb-set-name mysql mariadb3 3306 

Now you can use your Cloud Service address, in my case, to connect to your cluster. The connections will automatically be load-balanced on all nodes using a round-robin algorithm.

Running some benchmarks

Here are some notes on how to benchmark your MariaDB cluster using sysbench.

Install sysbench:

sudo apt-get install sysbench sudo apt-get install mysql-client-core-5.5 

Create a test database using the mysql client:

create database sysbench; grant all on sysbench.* to 'root'@'%' identified by 'xxx!'; 

I will run the benchmark client using the load-balanced endpoint address that I created above.

Prepare the benchmark, e.g.:

sysbench --test=oltp --oltp-table-size=1000000 --mysql-db=sysbench \ --mysql-user=root --mysql-password='xxx' prepare 

Run the benchmark, e.g. 1 minute, 4 threads, simple test:

sysbench --test=oltp --oltp-table-size=1000000 --mysql-db=sysbench \ --mysql-user=root --mysql-password='xxx' --max-time=60 --oltp-read-only=on --num-threads=4 --max-requests=0 run 

5 minutes, 16 threads, complex test:

sysbench --test=oltp --oltp-table-size=1000000 --mysql-db=sysbench \ --mysql-user=root --mysql-password='xxx' --max-time=300 --oltp-read-only=on --num-threads=16 \ --max-requests=0 --oltp-test-mode=complex run 
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