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Faisal M
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“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ― Plutarch

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Setup a highly-available Redis cluster with Sentinel and HAProxy

Faisal MFaisal M

The purpose of this tutorial is to show You how to quickly setup a Redis cluster with Sentinel (comes with Redis) and HAProxy on Ubuntu 18.04

A quick explanation of the technologies used in this tutorial

  • Redis - A fast key/value storage engine
  • Sentinel - Keeps track of Master/Slave machines and promotes and demotes them when VMs go down or go offline
  • HAProxy - A proxy server that can keep track of which services that are available and ready to receive requests

The big picture

redis-sentinel-cluster

Prerequisites

  • For VMs with Ubuntu 18.04 installed
  • Basic knowledge in how to install packages in Ubuntu via APT
  • Basic knowledge of how to edit configuration files
  • Basic knowledge of how firewalls work

Virtual machines

VM Instance Name Apps / Services IP Address
Instance 01 haproxy-01 HAProxy 192.168.1.10
Instance 02 redis-01 Redis, Sentinel (Master) 192.168.1.11
Instance 03 redis-02 Redis, Sentinel (Slave) 192.168.1.12
Instance 04 redis-03 Redis, Sentinel (Slave) 192.168.1.13

NOTE: Remember that when Sentinel is in charge of deciding which server is Master and Slave. The above stated Master / Slave constellation will change. The table above is a just a snapshot of our initial setup.

1. Install redis-server

sudo apt update
sudo apt install redis-server

Run command below to check that every is working

root@redis-example-com-01:~# redis-cli ping
PONG

2. Install and enable UFW on the machines that will host Redis

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install ufw
sudo ufw enable
sudo ufw allow 22
sudo ufw allow in on eth1 to any port 6379
sudo ufw allow in on eth1 to any port 26379

In the example above we have allowed traffic on port 22 from everywhere on the internet and we only allow traffic from our private network via our eth1 interface (the interface that has access to our private network) to access our Redis and Sentinel services.

NOTE: Remember to harden Your SSH config in order increase security on machines that are open to traffic from the internet. I would recommend using a jumper machine.

The status of UFW should look something like

root@redis-example-com-01:~# ufw status
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
22                         ALLOW       Anywhere
6379 on eth1               ALLOW       Anywhere
26379 on eth1              ALLOW       Anywhere
22 (v6)                    ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)
6379 (v6) on eth1          ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)
26379 (v6) on eth1         ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)

The above means that redis and sentinel will only be accessible from the VMs on Your private network.

3. Understand how Master/Slave VMs will talk to each other

Our setup will have three VMs. Below we assume that our private network has the IP format of 192.168.1.XYZ

192.168.1.11 ==> Master Node (Initially)
192.168.1.12 ==> Slave Node (Initially)
192.168.1.13 ==> Slave Node (Initially)

The only difference between our /etc/redis/redis.conf files in our three VMs is that all our slave VMs must have the following 192.168.1.11 as their Master IP address.

Make sure that we are pointing to our Initial Master IP in the /etc/redis/redis.conf of our slave VMs

Add/change config files for Master VM and Slave VMs

There are two config files we need to have per virtual machine

  1. /etc/redis/redis.conf
  2. /etc/redis/sentinel.conf

Change a few lines in /etc/redis/redis.conf

  • From bind 127.0.0.1 ::1 to # bind 127.0.0.1 ::1, comment out the line (69)
  • From # protected-mode no to protected-mode no, uncomment the line (88) or protected-mode yes to protected-mode no

Only on Slave VMs

Add the line below to replicate data from our VM that has IP 192.168.1.11 in /etc/redis/redis.conf

slaveof 192.168.1.11 6379

And set protected-mode to no in /etc/redis/redis.conf

protected-mode no

NOTE: Replace the IP in the example above with a proper IP from Your private network.

slaveof <YOUR_MASTER_IP_HERE> <YOUR_MASTER_PORT_HERE>

Create a new file in /etc/redis/sentinel.conf and add the lines below

Master (VM: 192.168.1.11)
sentinel myid 9862e14b6d9fb11c035c4a28d48573455a7876a2
sentinel monitor redis-primary 192.168.1.11 6379 2
sentinel down-after-milliseconds redis-primary 2000
sentinel failover-timeout redis-primary 5000
protected-mode no

NOTE: You will find the myid number in Your /etc/redis/sentinel.conf after You have started Sentinel the first time.

The format above is sentinel monitor <NAME> <IP> <PORT> <QUORUM>. Which basically means monitor this Redis node with <IP> and <PORT>, use <NAME> hereafter in the config and at least<QUORUM> (in this case two) sentinels has to agree that this Redis node is down for Sentinel to trigger the promotion of another machine to master in this cluster.

Slave (VM: 192.168.1.12)
sentinel myid 9862e14b6d9fb11c035c4a28d48573455a7876a2
sentinel monitor redis-primary 192.168.1.11 6379 2
sentinel down-after-milliseconds redis-primary 2000
sentinel failover-timeout redis-primary 5000
protected-mode no
Slave (VM: 192.168.1.13)
sentinel myid 9862e14b6d9fb11c035c4a28d48573455a7876a2
sentinel monitor redis-primary 192.168.1.11 6379 2
sentinel down-after-milliseconds redis-primary 2000
sentinel failover-timeout redis-primary 5000
protected-mode no

Ready to fire things up!

You can start/stop/restart the Redis service by running

systemctl start|stop|restart|status redis
  1. Keep an eye on the logs to see what is going on under the hood

tail -f /var/log/redis/redis-server.log

  1. Start a new terminal and run the command below on all three VMs
systemctl restart redis
  1. Check that Redis is responding properly
redis-cli ping
  1. Check that the replication is working properly, fire up redis-cli on Your Master VM and set a key in the database named hello and its content to world
root@redis-example-com-01:# redis-cli SET hello "world"
OK
  1. Fire up new terminals for the Slave VMs and run
redis-cli GET hello

The response should look something like below

root@redis-example-com-02:# redis-cli GET hello
"world"
  1. Fire up Sentinel
redis-server /etc/redis/sentinel.conf --sentinel

It should give You a detailed log of what is going on what connections are setup between Master and Slave VMs.

Now go to your terminal on Your Master VM and type the command below and see the magic happen.

redis-cli -p 6379 DEBUG sleep 30

If everything is alright, one of the Slave VMs will be promoted to the "New Master". You can query the role of the redis server with the command below

redis-cli info replication | grep role

NOTE: You should run Sentinel as a daemon in production.

Add the lines below to /etc/redis/sentinel.conf if You want to daemonize the Sentinel service on Your production environment.

logfile "/var/log/redis/sentinel.log"
daemonize yes

You can now access the Sentinel logs on a specific VM by running tail -f /var/log/redis/sentinel.log

Run Sentinel as a daemon via systemd

/etc/redis/sentinel.conf

sentinel myid 9862e14b6d9fb11c035c4a28d48573455a7876a2
sentinel monitor redis-primary 192.168.1.11 6379 2
sentinel down-after-milliseconds redis-primary 5000
protected-mode no
# Run in production with systemd
logfile "/var/log/redis/sentinel.log"
pidfile "/var/run/redis/sentinel.pid"
daemonize yes

/etc/systemd/system/sentinel.service

[Unit]
Description=Sentinel for Redis
After=network.target

[Service]
Type=forking
User=redis
Group=redis
PIDFile=/var/run/redis/sentinel.pid
ExecStart=/usr/bin/redis-server /etc/redis/sentinel.conf --sentinel
ExecStop=/bin/kill -s TERM $MAINPID
Restart=always

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Change the access permissions of related files

sudo chown redis:redis /etc/redis/sentinel.conf
sudo chown redis:redis /var/log/redis/sentinel.log
sudo chmod 640 /etc/redis/sentinel.conf
sudo chmod 660 /var/log/redis/sentinel.log

Reload and allow Sentinel daemon to autostart

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable sentinel.service

How to start, restart, stop and check status

sudo  systemctl start|restart|stop|status sentinel

Setup HAProxy for our cluster

sudo apt update
sudo apt install haproxy

You can check which version You have by running the command below

root@haproxy-01:# haproxy -v
HA-Proxy version 1.8.8-1ubuntu0.4 2019/01/24
Copyright 2000-2018 Willy Tarreau <willy@haproxy.org>
  1. Go to /etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg and replace its content with the snippet below
global
	daemon
	maxconn 256


defaults
	mode tcp
	timeout connect 5000ms
	timeout client 50000ms
	timeout server 50000ms


frontend http
	bind :8080
	default_backend stats


backend stats
	mode http
	stats enable

	stats enable
	stats uri /
	stats refresh 1s
	stats show-legends
	stats admin if TRUE


frontend redis-read
    bind *:6379
    default_backend redis-online


frontend redis-write
	bind *:6380
	default_backend redis-primary


backend redis-primary
	mode tcp
	balance first
	option tcp-check

	tcp-check send info\ replication\r\n
	tcp-check expect string role:master

	server redis-01:192.168.1.11:6379 192.168.1.11:6379 maxconn 1024 check inter 1s
	server redis-02:192.168.1.12:6379 192.168.1.12:6379 maxconn 1024 check inter 1s
	server redis-03:192.168.1.13:6379 192.168.1.13:6379 maxconn 1024 check inter 1s


backend redis-online
	mode tcp
	balance roundrobin
	option tcp-check

	tcp-check send PING\r\n
	tcp-check expect string +PONG

	server redis-01:192.168.1.11:6379 192.168.1.11:6379 maxconn 1024 check inter 1s
	server redis-02:192.168.1.12:6379 192.168.1.12:6379 maxconn 1024 check inter 1s
	server redis-03:192.168.1.13:6379 192.168.1.13:6379 maxconn 1024 check inter 1s
  1. Restart the HAProxy service
sudo systemctl restart haproxy
  1. You can browse the Stats UI that comes out of the box with HAProxy by visiting http://<YOUR_HAPROXY_IP>:8080 on Your browser

haproxy-stats-interface

TIP: You can access the interface without exposing port 8080 on the VM by tunneling via SSH with ssh -N -L 8080:localhost:8080 <YOUR_USER>@<YOUR_IP_OR_DOMAIN> and then visit localhost:8080 from a browser on the machine You are sitting on.

  1. Check that Your HAProxy server is routing traffic to Your primary Redis node by executing the command below on Your HAProxy VM.
apt install redis-tools -y
redis-cli -h 192.168.1.10 -p 6379 info replication | grep role
role:master
redis-cli -h 192.168.1.10 -p 6379 info replication | grep role
role:slave
redis-cli -h 192.168.1.10 -p 6379 info replication | grep role
role:slave
redis-cli -h 192.168.1.10 -p 6379 info replication | grep role
role:master
redis-cli -h 192.168.1.10 -p 6379 info replication | grep role
role:slave
redis-cli -h 192.168.1.10 -p 6379 info replication | grep role
role:slave

As You can see above the roundrobin balance algorithm sends each request to all the machines listed under the backend redis-online section in our haproxy.cfg

Now check the 6380 port which is designated for write requests.

It should return something similar to the response below. The important part is role:master as Your HAProxy should always route traffic to the master VM at any given time.

redis-cli -h <YOUR_HAPROXY_PRIVATE_IP> -p 6380 info replication
# Replication
role:master
connected_slaves:2
slave0:ip=192.168.1.12,port=6379,state=online,offset=300869,lag=0
slave1:ip=192.168.1.13,port=6379,state=online,offset=300869,lag=1
master_replid:5727c2e7a8807e43cde4171209059c497965626f
master_replid2:4b9ba6abc844fd849ee067ccf4bc1d1aefe3cade
master_repl_offset:301301
second_repl_offset:65678
repl_backlog_active:1
repl_backlog_size:1048576
repl_backlog_first_byte_offset:454
repl_backlog_histlen:30084`

That's it, You should now have everything You need to setup a well functioning Redis cluster.

Faisal M
Author

Faisal M

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” ― Plutarch

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