July 30, 2014

High Availability with mysqlnd_ms on Percona XtraDB Cluster

This is the second part of my series on High Availability with mysqlnd_ms. In my first post, “Simple MySQL Master HA with mysqlnd_ms,” I showed a simple HA solution using asynchronous MySQL replication. This time we will see how to leverage an all-primary cluster where you can write to all nodes. In this post I used Percona XtraDB Cluster, but you should also be able to do the same with MySQL NDB Cluster or Tungsten Replicator.

To start with, here is the mysqlnd_ms configuration I used: mysqlnd_ms_mm.ini .  All of these files are available from my Github repository. Below, I have three Percona XtraDB Cluster nodes, all defined as masters and no slaves. I’ve configured a roundrobin filter where all connections will happen on the first node, in this case . In case the first node fails, the second node will be used and so forth until no more nodes are available. Another interesting configuration option here is the loop_before_master strategy whereby if connection or a statement to the current server fails, it will be retried silently on the remaining nodes before returning an error to the user, more on this below.

Similar to my previous post, I also used a custom INI file for PHP to use, this time aptly named master-master.ini :

A new addition to this configuration is mysqlnd_ms.multi_master , when enabled it would allow you to use all nodes or just one and treat the others as passive. The PHP script I used this time is called master-master.php , it is largely similar to master-slave-ng.php with a few differences:

  1. There is no need for  /tmp/PRIMARY_HAS_FAILED  sentinel as all nodes were writable.
  2. There is no need for  /*ms=master*/  SQL hint when validating a connection from connect_mysql function since all nodes acts as master.

So here is a quick test, first with roundrobin filter, after 4 INSERTs, I shutdown  which sends my connection to the next server in the configuration, . When I started back  again, the script resumed connections there. Pretty cool right?

Here’s another test using the random filter which allows you to write to all nodes, on my mysqlnd_ms_mm.ini above, I just changed  roundrobin  to random . As you can see, all three nodes were being used, of course in random, at the same time you will also see when I shutdown  around where the  connect_mysql  errors and then the server was used again near the bottom after a started it back up. Still pretty cool right?

So here are some issues I’ve observed during these tests:

  1. remember_failed  during failover does not work as advertised. Supposedly, a failed node should not be used again for every connection request but in my test, this is not the case. See more from this bug. This means that if you have 2 out of 3 failed nodes in this scenario the overhead would be too big when testing both connections. Perhaps some sort of in memory shared TTL can be used to overcome this? I’m not sure.
  2. If you look closely around line 7 on my last output above the error displayed is kind of misleading. In particular it says ERRROR: via TCP/IP , whereby it was not  that failed, it was . This is because under the hood, immediately after failure the next node will be cycled to, this is especially true since we have loop_before_master configured. I sure do have a bug on the script that should capture the  host_info  properly, but this is something to always keep in mind so you don’t keep scratching your head.

So we’ve seen these two forms of possibilities and they definitely have use cases and advantages. On the other hand because of the issues we have found so far (I’ve reported 4 bugs on the PHP bugs database during the course of these tests including one crashing), I recommend to make sure you test seriously before putting this on production.

About Jervin Real

Jervin is a member of Percona's Rapid Response Consulting team. When you come to Percona for consulting, chances are he'll be greeting you first. His primary role is to make sure customer issues are handled efficiently and professionally. Jervin joined Percona in April 2010.


  1. Giuseppe Iannello says:

    Beware: mysqlnd_ms uses lazy connections, and if you rely on setting a timezone during the session initialization, it will not work properly.

  2. Jervin,
    Does mysqlnd_ms allow you to specify an actual health check for the nodes, or is it actually just trying the queries and marking nodes down if they get an error?

    Also, reading the config, it would seem like this is roundrobin across all the servers, but you indicated the first node must fail before it hits the other nodes. Which is correct in this case?

  3. Jervin Real says:


    There is no health check involved as the plugin is meant for generalized purpose. It tries the query and depending on the configuration, may cycle to the next server silently or return an error before cycling.

    Round-robin is a bit confusing here, it means that the order of the server being tried is how they are specified during failures. So if the first server failed, the second one will be tried and so on – it does not mean that all nodes will be hit in an “equal” round robin assignment fashion.

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