Greetings to all sysadmins and operators out there,
the subject says it all. We are currently looking into possibilities to run multiple Confluence instances on geographically distributed locations, either with the offical Confluence Cluster edition or any other (more or less hacked) solution.
We are aware that Atlassian doesn't support any form of this clustering, but would like to know if anyone has done (or at least tried) to do this before and would be grateful for any experiences shared.
We tried, and failed, and that was with Confluence nodes in data centres just 1 mile apart. Support's suggested solution at the time was to host the servers in the same rack and connect them with a crossover cable. All the multicast tests were fine and reporting that the nodes could see each other, but we just couldn't get it to work reliably.
The problem is that the inderlying clustering technology (Oracle Coherence) seems to be incredibly flakey and the slightest blip means a node doesn't get updated with the correct ID in time and the nodes cluster panic. This is what we were seeing, and we resorted to running in active/passive with just one node receiving requests and the other in cold standby so that we could failover if there was a problem or if we needed to carry out planned maintenance.
Active / passive seems to be the multi-node option that most people seem to go for due to the reliability issues with clustering. This configuration will give you higher availability than a single node and you can vertically scale (to a point) by throwing more resources (RAM, CPU, faster disk, etc.) at the individual nodes.
Hope that's of some help?
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