Hardware clustering/load balancing/failover with Tomcat

Unanswered Question
Sep 25th, 2007

Hello forum!

I recently bought a Cisco 1801, and it sure is capable! Anyhow, I've got a hobby website that is getting a fair bit of traffic - approaching too much for one node to handle and it's time to start thinking about distributing the load.

I'd like to do a little clustering of server nodes running Apache Geronimo, which is J2EE running atop Apache Tomcat. For the sake of keeping things generic, let's just call it Tomcat because it configures the same way.

I do not run Apache HTTP Server as a proxy, I only run Tomcat directly connected to the internet. I do this for performance reasons.

Anyhow, I'm wondering if any of you evil geniuses could suggest a way that I could cluster Tomcat nodes directly using the router to serve as a hardware load balancer and have the whole sticky session thing with failover, etc... All of the documents I find on the subject discuss clustering by way of Apache HTTP with Mod_JK.

I have already asked this question on the hardware side, and got great information about the capable load balancing features my router sports (but limited compared to Cisco CSS products.)

Now I'm wondering if anyone has experience taking an open source application server like Geronimo or Tomcat or JBoss and clustering it using hardware load balancing. What kinds of Tomcat configurations, if any, do I need to add for things like sticky sessions and failover? Or, is all that automatic?

Thanks so much for reading and for any replies. If there is a better forum for my question, please direct me there.


Dave Woldrich


I have this problem too.
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aghaznavi Mon, 10/01/2007 - 14:26

This occurs rarely when the Tomcat process is not able to connect to the database. The database connection problem is an internal cause which manifests externally as missing fields in reports.

Workaround: Restart the Apache process and the Tomcat process. From the CLI on your CiscoWorks Server, enter the following commands in the specified sequence:

1. pdterm Apache

2. pdterm Tomcat

3. pdexec Tomcat

4. pdexec Apache


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