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I have a server cluster and each instance needs to have some sense of the overall system state.

Basically what I need is a lookup service that...

  • stores basic service configuration, such as database master/slave addresses etc.
  • allows clients to register their information (ip, role, state, etc.), so other clients can find them.

Since I'm new to server development/management, where should I start to look? What technologies are appropriate? Is there a better solution to solve this?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It seems that Apache Zookeeper or it's lighter alternative Noah (if you want RESTful interface) might fit here. Also, there are more alternative registry / lookup services in the wild, and it seems it might be appropriate solution for your case.

Configuration management tools can be also used here (if you're not already using one). Most popular open source configuration management tools are Chef, Puppet and Cfengine.

E.g., using Chef you could lookup needed information in your recipe:

db_slaves = search(:node, 'mysql_server_role:slave')
db_slaves.each do |slave|
  # execute something ...

This is example on using Chef search feature in order to collect all of the DB slaves known to chef-server, then doing something with it.

You can have similar functionality in other mentioned CM tools also (exact techniques might differ).

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