Manage and Automate Galera Cluster – Why ClusterControl

Jean-Jérôme Schmidt


Galera Cluster by Codership is a synchronous multi-master replication technology which can be utilized to build highly available MySQL or MariaDB clusters.

It has been downloaded over one million times since last year, establishing itself as one of the most popular high availability and scalability technologies for MySQL, MariaDB and Percona Server with database users worldwide.

And while Galera Cluster is easy enough to deploy, it is complex to operate. To properly automate and manage it does require a sound understanding of how it works and how it behaves in production. For instance, once it’s deployed, how does it behave under a real-life workload, scale, and during long term operations?

This is where monitoring performance and optimizing it, understanding anomalies, recovering from failures, managing schema and configuration changes and pushing them in production, version upgrades and performing backups come into play.

There are a number of things you’d want to have thought through and be in control of before going in production with Galera Cluster for MySQL or MariaDB:

  • Hardware and network requirements
  • OS tuning
  • Sane configuration settings for the database
  • Production-grade deployment
  • Security
  • Monitoring and alerting
  • Query performance
  • Anomaly detection and troubleshooting
  • Recovering from failures
  • Schema changes
  • Backup strategies and disaster recovery
  • Disaster recovery
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Capacity planning

And the list goes on …

We saw great potential in Galera Cluster early on, and started building a deployment and management product for it even before the first 1.0 version was released. We are happy to see that the technology has delivered on its promises – high availability of MySQL with good write scalability. Over the years, we have been able to build out comprehensive management procedures in ClusterControl and battle-test these across thousands of installations.

Not everyone has the knowledge, skills, time or resources to manage a high availability database. It is hard enough to find a production DBA, or a DevOps person with strong database knowledge. So imagine that most of the relevant steps in that process could be automated and managed from one central system?

This is where ClusterControl comes in.ClusterControl is our all-inclusive database management system that lets you easily deploy, monitor, manage and scale highly available open source databases on-premise or in the cloud.

So Why Use ClusterControl for Galera Cluster?

Deploying a production ready Galera Cluster has become a matter of a few clicks for ClusterControl users worldwide. And with tens of thousands of deployments to date, it’s safe to say that ClusterControl is truly ‘Galera battle-tested’. We’ve included years of industry best practices into the product to help companies automate and manage their database operations as smoothly as possible.

Some of the key benefits of using ClusterControl with Galera Cluster include:

  • Maximum efficiency: automated failure detection, failover, and automatic recovery of individual nodes or even entire clusters to achieve
  • Pro-active intelligence: gain access to advanced monitoring features that give you insights into your database performance and alert you to any problems right away
  • Advanced security: ClusterControl provides an array of advanced security features that you can depend on to keep your data safe

One of our most trusted users put it this way:

“In Severalnines we found a partner that is much more than a perfect database management system provider with ClusterControl: we have a partner that helps us define the architectures of our LAMP projects and leverage the capabilities of Galera Cluster.”

Olivier Lenormand, Technical Manager, CNRS/DSI.

Customers include Cisco, British Telecom, Orange, Ping Identity, Cisco, Liberty Global, AVG and many others.

The following are some of the key features to be found in ClusterControl for Galera Cluster:

  • Deploy Database Clusters
  • Configuration Management
  • Full stack monitoring (DB/LB/Host)
  • Query Monitoring
  • Anomaly detection
  • Failure detection and automatic recovery/repair
  • Add Node, Load Balancer (HAProxy, ProxySQL, MaxScale) or asynchronous replication slave
  • Backup Management
  • Encryption of data in transit
  • Online rolling upgrades
  • Developer Studio with Advisors

For a general introduction to ClusterControl, view the following video:

And for a demonstration of the ClusterControl features for Galera Cluster, view the following demo video:

To summarise, working seamlessly with your Galera setup, ClusterControl provides an integrated monitoring and troubleshooting approach, speeding up problem resolutions. A single interface saves you time by not having to cobble together configuration management tools, monitoring tools, scripts, etc. to operate your databases. And you can maximize efficiency and reduce database downtime with battle-tested automated recovery features.

Finally, ClusterControl fully supports all three Galera Cluster flavours, so you can easily deploy different clusters and compare them yourself with your own workload, on your own hardware. Do give it a try.

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