[rabbitmq-discuss] Cluster recovery due to network outages

Aaron Westendorf aaron at agoragames.com
Mon Aug 2 15:14:09 BST 2010

We had an outage in the internal network at our datacenter this
weekend and our rabbit cluster did not fully recover.

We have 4 hosts, all running 1.7.2.  When failures started, we saw
messages like the following (which we've seen before):

=ERROR REPORT==== 1-Aug-2010::06:13:24 ===
** Node rabbit at caerbannog not responding **
** Removing (timedout) connection **

=INFO REPORT==== 1-Aug-2010::06:13:24 ===
node rabbit at caerbannog down

A short time later the hosts recovered, also as we've seen before:

=INFO REPORT==== 1-Aug-2010::06:26:48 ===
node rabbit at caerbannog up
=ERROR REPORT==== 1-Aug-2010::06:26:48 ===
Mnesia(rabbit at bigwig): ** ERROR ** mnesia_event got
{inconsistent_database, running_partitioned_network,
 rabbit at caerbannog}

=ERROR REPORT==== 1-Aug-2010::06:26:48 ===
Mnesia(rabbit at bigwig): ** ERROR ** mnesia_event got
{inconsistent_database, starting_partitioned_network
, rabbit at caerbannog}

Another 15 minutes later and the timedout errors were logged and that
was the end of the cluster; I think two of the nodes figured out how
to connect back to each other, but two others remained on their own.
The hosts and nodes themselves never shutdown, and when I restarted
just one of the nodes later in the day, the whole cluster rediscovered
itself and all appeared to be well (`rabbitmqctl status` was
consistent with expectations).

So our first problem is that the nodes did not re-cluster after the
second outage.  Once we corrected the cluster though, our applications
still did not respond and we had to restart all of our clients.

Our clients all have a lot of handling for connection drops and
channel closures, but most of them did not see any TCP disconnects to
their respective nodes.  When the cluster was fixed, we found a lot of
our queues missing (they weren't durable), and so we had to restart
all of the apps to redeclare the queues.  This still didn't fix our
installation though, as our apps were receiving and processing data,
but responses were not being sent back out of our HTTP translators.

We have a single exchange, "response" that any application expecting a
response can bind to.  Our HTTP translators handle traffic from our
public endpoints, publish to various exchanges for the services we
offer, and those services in turn write back to the response exchange.
 We have a monitoring tool that confirmed that these translators could
write a response to its own Rabbit host and immediately receive it (a
ping, more or less).  However, none of the responses from services
which were connected to other Rabbit nodes were received by the

In short, it appeared that even though the cluster was healed and all
our services had re-declared their queues, the bindings between the
response exchange and the queues which our translators use did not
appear to propagate to the rest of the nodes in the cluster.

So in summary,

* Rabbit didn't re-connect to the other nodes after the second TCP disconnect
* After fixing the cluster (manually or automatically), Rabbit appears
to have lost its non-durable queues even though the nodes never
* Although we had every indication that exchanges and queues were
still alive and functional, bindings appear to have been lost between
Rabbit nodes

What we'd like to know is,

* Does any of this make sense and can we add more detail to help fix any bugs?
* Have there been fixes for these issues since 1.7.2 that we should deploy?
* Is there anything we should add/change about our applications to
deal with these types of situations?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Aaron Westendorf
Senior Software Engineer
Agora Games
359 Broadway
Troy, NY 12180
Phone: 518.268.1000
aaron at agoragames.com

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