Docker containerization of the Pacemaker High Availability Cluster Manager

3 years after


Docker containerization of the Pacemaker High Availability Cluster Manager

Example Create Image

Creating a docker container image is trivial. Just run the command. This script will spit out a .tar file which represents a containized pacemaker docker image.So far, this project supports containers including centos7 and openSuse Leap. You can run ./ -d "vendor", values can be "redhat" and "suse".We take centos7 as an example.

./ -d "redhat" 
Making Dockerfile
Making image
Sending build context to Docker daemon 153.6 kB
Sending build context to Docker daemon 
Step 0 : FROM centos:centos7
 ---> 7322fbe74aa5
Step 1 : RUN yum install -y net-tools pacemaker resource-agents pcs corosync which fence-agents-common sysvinit-tools docker
 ---> Using cache
 ---> 85b377e743c0
Step 2 : ADD /helper_scripts /usr/sbin
 ---> 56159447ef4a
Removing intermediate container 38cce298acac
Step 3 : ADD defaults/corosync.conf /etc/corosync/
 ---> d63136057bcb
Removing intermediate container a77b10f0ef2a
Step 4 : ENTRYPOINT /usr/sbin/
 ---> Running in 79441ceb0fca
 ---> 248b5d9effc4
Removing intermediate container 79441ceb0fca
Successfully built 248b5d9effc4
Docker container 248b5d9effc4 is exported to tar file pcmk_container_248b5d9effc4.tar

Given the example above, you can load the pacemaker docker container image file, pcmk_container_248b5d9effc4.tar, onto any docker host you want using the following command.

docker load < pcmk_container_248b5d9effc4.tar

Launch standalone pacemaker instance for testing.

Note the usage of -v to mount the host docker.sock file into the container as well as the --net=host option which gives the container access to the host's network devices.

We need the docker.sock file accessible so pacemaker can launch containers on the host while pacemaker is living within a container.

We need the --net=host option set so pacemaker can bind to the host's static local ip address. Even though pacemaker is running in a container, it is associated with the host. Pacemaker is launching containers on the host and in manyway represents the host.

docker run -d -P -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock --net=host  --name=pcmk_test 6b5c48968492

If you need pacemaker to be able to manage a VIP using the IPaddr2 resource, then the --privileged=true option must be used. This gives pacemaker the ability to modify the IP addresses associated with local network devices.

docker run -d -P -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock --net=host --privileged=true --name=pcmk_test 26e53d8b4652

Verify that pacemaker within the container is active.

docker exec pcmk_test crm_mon -1
  Last updated: Fri Jul 24 21:50:20 2015
  Last change: Fri Jul 24 21:49:36 2015
  Stack: corosync
  Current DC: 8e1eae1a7d0b (1) - partition with quorum
  Version: 1.1.12-a14efad
  1 Nodes configured
  0 Resources configured

  Online: [ 8e1eae1a7d0b ]

Verify that the container has access to the host's docker instance

docker exec pcmk_test docker ps
  CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                 COMMAND                CREATED             STATUS              PORTS               NAMES
  8e1eae1a7d0b        56992a77e0a9:latest   "/bin/sh -c /usr/sbi   7 seconds ago       Up 6 seconds                            pcmk_test        

Verify the containerized pacemaker instance can launch and monitor a container on the docker host machine.

docker exec pcmk_test pcs property set stonith-enabled=false
docker exec pcmk_test pcs resource create mycontainer ocf:heartbeat:docker image=centos:centos7 run_cmd="sleep 100000"

Launch an entire pacemaker cluster across multiple hosts.

The examples so far demonstrate how to build and launch a standalone single instance pacemaker container. In practice, this is useless. All a standalone pacemaker instance does is show us that we got the "containerize pacemaker" part right. Now lets launch a real pacemaker cluster.

In order to do this, we need to know the static IP addresses of the hosts machines that make up our pacemaker cluster. In this example, my static IP addresses are and These are the actual addresses assigned to a NIC on three docker host machines.

Once we know our three static IP addresses, launching a pacemaker cluster is trivial. We can run the exact same set of commands on each host node.

First. load up the pacemaker container from the .tar file. You'll need to copy the .tar file the 'pcmk_create_image' script generates to each host. In this example, my container image ID is 248b5d9effc4.

docker load < pcmk_container_248b5d9effc4.tar

Now, all we have to do is launch the container and feed in a list of the static IP addresses associated with the three nodes. The pacemaker container's launch script knows how to take the PCMK_NODE_LIST environment variable and dynamically create the corosync.conf file we need to form the cluster.

docker run -d -P -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock -e PCMK_NODE_LIST="" --net=host --privileged=true --name=pcmk_test 248b5d9effc4

Now, after executing those two commands on each host, you should be able to run 'crm_mon -1' to verify the cluster formed. In my case, executing crm_mon -1 within a container running pacemaker returns the following.

docker exec pcmk_test crm_mon -1
Last updated: Tue Jul 28 14:57:44 2015
Last change: Tue Jul 28 14:57:43 2015
Stack: corosync
Current DC: c7auto2 (2) - partition with quorum
Version: 1.1.12-a14efad
3 Nodes configured
0 Resources configured

Online: [ c7auto1 c7auto2 c7auto3 ]

My three host machines are c7auto<1-3>. Pacemaker running in the container adpoted the hostname of the docker host machine because I set --net=host.

Virtual IP addresses and the Cloud.

Traditionally pacemaker manages a VIP using the IPaddr2 resource-agent. This agent assigns a VIP to a local NIC, then performs ARP updates to inform the switching hardware that the VIP's layer2 MAC has changed. This method works fine in containerized docker instances as long as we have control over the network. By using the --net=host and --privileged=true docker run options, the pacemaker docker container has all the permissions it needs to manage VIPs using IPaddr2.

In a cloud environment, we might not be able to dynamically assign any IP we want to a host. Instead we may need to use the cloud provider's API to assign a VIP to a specfic compute instance. If pacemaker needs to coordinate this VIP assignment, we'll need to create a resource-agent that utilizes the cloud providers API in order to automate moving the VIP between hosts during failover.