2022: How to Configuring Apache2 Load Balancer with failover mechanism

Configuring a High Availability Cluster (Heartbeat) On CentOS:

This blog page shows how you can set up a two node, high-availability HTTP cluster with heartbeat on CentOS. Both nodes use the Apache web server to serve the same content. Let decryptinfo for the configuration:


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Pre-Configuration Requirements

  1. Assign hostname node01 to primary node with IP address Messaging Part1 Server Instance 1 (For e.g.: to eth0.
  2. Assign hostname node02 to slave node with IP address Messaging Part1 Server Instance 2 (For e.g.:

Note: on node01

uname -n

must return node01.

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On node02

uname -n

must return node02.

192.168.0. 2 is the virtual IP address that will be used for our Apache web-server (i.e., Apache will listen on that address).


Download and install the heartbeat package. In our case we are using CentOS so we will

install heartbeat with yum:
yum install heartbeat

Now we have to configure heartbeat on our two node cluster. We will deal with three files. These are:


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Now moving to our configuration. But there is one more thing to do that is to copy these files to the /etc/ha.d directory. In our case we copy these files as given below:

cp /usr/share/doc/heartbeat-2.1.2/authkeys /etc/ha.d/

cp /usr/share/doc/heartbeat-2.1.2/ha.cf /etc/ha.d/

cp /usr/share/doc/heartbeat-2.1.2/haresources /etc/ha.d/

Now let’s start configuring heartbeat. First we will deal with the authkeys file, we will use authentication method 2 (sha1). For this we will make changes in the authkeys file as below.

vi /etc/ha.d/authkeys

Then add the following lines:

auth 2
2 sha1 test-ha

Change the permission of the authkeys file:

chmod 600 /etc/ha.d/authkeys

Moving to our second file (ha.cf) which is the most important. So edit the ha.cf file with vi:

vi /etc/ha.d/ha.cf

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Add the following lines in the ha.cf file:

logfile /var/log/ha-log
logfacility local0
keepalive 2
deadtime 30
initdead 120
bcast eth0
udpport 694
auto_failback on
node node01
node node02 */

Note: node01 and node02 is the output generated by

uname -n

The final piece of work in our configuration is to edit the haresources file. This file contains the information about resources which we want to highly enable. In our case we want the webserver (httpd) highly available:

vi /etc/ha.d/haresources

Add the following line:

node01 httpd

Copy the /etc/ha.d/ directory from node01 to node02:

scp -r /etc/ha.d/ root@node02:/etc/

As we want httpd highly enabled let’s start configuring httpd:

vi /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Add this line in httpd.conf:


Copy the /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf file to node02:

scp /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf root@node02:/etc/httpd/conf/

Create the file index.html on both nodes (node01 & node02):
On node01:

echo "node01 apache test server" > /var/www/html/index.html

On node02:

echo "node02 apache test server" > /var/www/html/index.html

Now start heartbeat on the primary node01 and slave node02:

/etc/init.d/heartbeat start

Open web-browser and type in the URL:

It will show node01 apache test server.

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Now stop the hearbeat daemon on node01:

/etc/init.d/heartbeat stop

In your browser type in the URL and press enter. It will show node02 apache test server.

We don’t need to create a virtual network interface and assign an IP address ( to it. Heartbeat will do this for you, and start the service (httpd) itself. So don’t worry about this.
Don’t use the IP addresses of Messaging Part1 Server Instance 1 and Instance 2 for services. These addresses are used by heartbeat for communication between node01 and node02. When any of them will be used for services/resources, it will disturb heartbeat and will not work. Be careful!!!

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Installing Apache2

Apache2 is available as a CentOS package; therefore we can install it like this:

yum install httpd

The package httpd has some dependencies. So please install the below packages through DVD before httpd package installation.

Insert DVD-> Goto folder CentOS_5.5 -> CentOS and install packages by using below command

rpm -ivh apr-1.2.7-11.el5_3.1.x86_64.rpm
rpm -ivh apr-util-1.2.7-11.el5_3.1.x86_64.rpm
rpm -ivh httpd-devel-2.2.3-43.el5.centos.x86_64.rpm

and regarding the postgresql-libs package we need exactly the below mentioned version which is available from packages list of DVD only.

rpm -ivh postgresql-libs-8.1.18-2.el5_4.1

If the postgresql-libs-8.3.3-1PGDG.rhel5.x86_64.rpm is already installed separately from DVD please remove the packages by using below command

rpm -e postgresql-libs-8.3.3-1PGDG.rhel5.x86_64.rpm

and run the command as written below:

rpm -e --nodeps postgresql-libs

and then install httpd package from the DVD

rpm -ivh httpd-2.2.3-43.el5.centos.x86_64.rpm

Note: For Load Balancer configuration there is no need to install Postgresql server from the packages provided in DVD

Start Apache:

/etc/init.d/httpd start

To configure apache2 as load balancer we will use mod_jk module. To install mod_jk you will need to install supporting tools like httpd-devel. If the httpd-devel tools are not installed, install them first:

sudo yum -y install httpd-devel

Copy module binary mod_jk.so from SSDG DVD to /etc/httpd/modules

Add following lines to httpd.conf in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

# Load mod_jk module
# Update this path to match your modules location
LoadModule jk_module /etc/httpd/modules/mod_jk.so
# Declare the module for <IfModule directive> (remove this line on Apache 2.x)
# AddModule mod_jk.c
# Where to find workers.properties
# Update this path to match your conf directory location (put workers.properties
next to httpd.conf)
JkWorkersFile conf/workers.properties

# Where to put jk shared memory
# Update this path to match your local state directory or logs directory
JkShmFile /var/log/httpd/mod_jk.shm
# Where to put jk logs
# Update this path to match your logs directory location (put mod_jk.log next to
JkLogFile /var/log/httpd/mod_jk.log
# Set the jk log level [debug/error/info]
JkLogLevel info
# Select the timestamp log format
JkLogStampFormat "[%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Y] "

ServerAdmin (Email address of Administrator For eg :ssdg@decryptinfo.com)
ServerName (Domain name for SSDG Messaging Service For eg: nsdgstaging.decryptinfo.com)
ErrorLog /var/log/httpd/error.log
ProxyRequests Off
ProxyVia Off
JkMount /* loadbalancer1

# Define list of workers that will be used

# for mapping requests
worker.list=loadbalancer1, status
# Define Node1
# modify the host as your host IP or DNS name.
worker.node1.host=IP Address of Messaging Part 1 Server Instance 1 For eg:
# Load-balancing behaviour
#For ex1.decryptinfo.com
# Define Node2
# modify the host as your host IP or DNS name.
worker.node2.host= IP Address of Messaging Part 1 Server Instance 2 For
#Status worker for managing load balancer

In above workers.properties worker.node1.host & worker.node2.host point to the machine where gateway services are running i.e. IP Address of Messaging Part 1 Server Instance 1 and Instance 2 .
worker.node1.port & worker.node2.port must point to the AJP port of jboss @ssdg (default is 8009).

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Restart apache2 with command:

/etc/init.d/httpd restart

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