GNU.WIKI: The GNU/Linux Knowledge Base

  [HOME] [HowTo] [ABS] [MAN1] [MAN2] [MAN3] [MAN4] [MAN5] [MAN6] [MAN7] [MAN8] [MAN9]


Jabber Server Farming How-To

Ryan Eatmon

Revision History                                                             
Revision 0.1           2002-06-06            Revised by: rwe                 
First draft.                                                                 

Provide Jabber admins a look into the present and future of Jabber Server

Table of Contents
1. About this How-To
    1.1. Purpose / Scope
    1.2. About Jabber
    1.3. Feedback
    1.4. Copyrights and Trademarks
    1.5. Acknowledgments and Thanks
2. Introduction to Jabberd and Farming
    2.1. Jabberd - The Jabber Server
    2.2. Farming
3. Implementing the Farm
    3.1. Client-to-Server Farming w/ Round Robin DNS
    3.2. Connection Redirection
    3.3. Router Layer
    3.4. Moving JSM State data into a DB
    3.5. Multiple JSMs
    3.6. JSM Communications

List of Figures
3-1. c2s Farming Diagram

Chapter 1. About this How-To

1.1. Purpose / Scope

  This document was started on June 06, 2002 by Ryan Eatmon to explain how to
set up a Jabber Server Farm using the Jabber Server ([http://]

  This document is broken into two main sections. What is, and what will be.
As of the writing of this document the Jabber Server does not have all of the
pieces that are required to do full farming. There are steps that can be
taken to get partial farming, and those will be covered. There are also steps
that we are going to take, and those are covered to so that others can
contribute and comment.

1.2. About Jabber

  Jabber is an Open Source Instant Messaging System that uses XML as its base
protcol. I could spend an entire How-To describing Jabber, so I am just going
to point you to the web site. ([] http://

1.3. Feedback

  Comments on this How-To may be directed to the author (<

1.4. Copyrights and Trademarks

Copyright 2002 Ryan Eatmon

  Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under
the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later
version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant
Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of
the license is included in the appendix entitled "GNU Free Documentation

Jabber is a Trademark of Jabber, Inc.

1.5. Acknowledgments and Thanks

  Thanks to everyone who gave me hints and tips on tuning Linux and
structuring of the farm. This includes Thomas Muldowney, Jeremie Miller, and
other members of the <> list.

Chapter 2. Introduction to Jabberd and Farming

2.1. Jabberd - The Jabber Server

  The Jabberd server is a reference implementation for the Jabber protocol as
defined by the Jabber Software Foundation. It is written in C and is covered
by both the Jabber Open Source License(JOSL) and the GNU Public License(GPL).
The Jabberd project has its own documentation. ([http://]

2.2. Farming

  This is an interesting topic. When you think of a server you tend to think
of a single machine running a single program. Farming is the idea of multiple
machines running multiple programs that all act together to appear to be one

  Why farming? Two reasons with equal importance. Scalability and

  Scalability is the idea of allowing something to handle many many more
connections/transactions at the same time. A typcial web server can handle
say 1000 connections a second, but 10 web servers acting together can provide
10,000 connections per second.

  Reliability is the idea that even if a piece of the system goes down, the
system does not. There is no single point of failure, and there is built in
redundancy to ensure that something is there to pick up the slack if
something goes down. In the web server example, if one web server goes down
you could not send any connections to it until it is back up, thus ensuring
that your web site is always up.

  Both of these ideas are crucial to a successful Farming strategy. Each
wants to push the design into a different direction, but they can be
reconciled into a single design that can scale and is reliable at the same

Chapter 3. Implementing the Farm

3.1. Client-to-Server Farming w/ Round Robin DNS

3.1.1. The Dream

  The first thing that we can do is to split out the c2s from the server and
make it a seperate process/component. Once that is done, we can replicate the
c2s processes over multiple machines. Each one would connect back to the main
server running the JSM and everything should work just fine.

Figure 3-1. c2s Farming Diagram



��*�Easy to setup right now.


��*�  Round Robin will not provide true load balancing since there is no
    mechanism in place to check how many connections a server has when it
    forwards a new connection to it the next time it comes up in the Round

3.1.2. The Reality

  This is doable right now. The 1.5 version of jabberd has sought to break
all of the pieces out into seperate processes. This was not done for farming
specifically, but we will not complain since the jadc2s component can handle
upwards of 10k users. (The 1.4.x series c2s could only handle ~1024).

  Currently there is a forked version of jadc2s that works with the 1.4.2
server. It is located in the jabberd14 CVS repository on JabberStudio. The
following example is running with two jadc2s boxes, and one central jabberd
box. To set this up do the following:

 1.   Get all of the [] source code for
    jabberd14. Build the server, configure/make.
 2.   Get the [] source
    for xdb_sql from [] IDEALX , build it, and setup the
    jabber.xml to use it.
    Note This is a very important step. xdb_file, the default xdb that comes 
         with jabberd, is limited to open file descriptors too. You can play 
         the same shell games that we are going to play with jadc2s later,   
         but if you want a server that can handle millions or users, then you
         need something other than xdb_file. Enter xdb_sql, which only uses  
         one file descriptor to connect to the mysql server.                 
      For more information on how to configure xdb_sql, please see the README
    that is distributed in the release.
 3.   Build jadc2s and distribute the binaries to the boxes where they will
 4.   Setup the main jabberd to accept the jadc2s component connections. In
    the jabber.xml config file, add the following XML:
    <service id="jadc2s-1">                                                  
    <service id="jadc2s-2">                                                  
      Now you can run the main jabberd and get it listening for the jadc2s to
    connect to it.
 5.   Configure the jadc2s.xml on each box to connect to the SM, where to
    listen, etc...
    <!--  session manager configuration                                    -->  
        <!--  host and port of the SM                                      -->  
        <!--  shared secret, for authenticating us                         -->  
        <!--  our ID, for authenticating us to the sm                      -->  
        <!--  how many times to try to connect to the sm (default: 5)      -->  
    <!--  local network settings                                           -->  
        <!--  who we identify ourselves as. This should correspond to the  -->  
        <!--  ID (host) that the session manager thinks it is.             -->  
        <!--  IP address to bind to (default:                     -->  
        <!-- <ip></ip> -->                                               
        <!--  port to bind to (default: 5222)                              -->  
        <!--  SSL configuration                                            -->  
        <!--  Specify the port to listen on, and the key file to use for   -->  
        <!--  the certificate.                                             -->  
        <!--  <port/>     (default: 5223)                                  -->  
        <!--  <pemfile/>  (default: ./server.pem)                          -->  
      For more information on how to configure jadc2s, please see the README
    in the jadc2s source directory.
 6.   Open a shell where you can change file system parameters (root usually)
    and execute the following command:
                                    bash$ echo "24000" > /proc/sys/fs/file-max  
      This bumps the upper bound on the number of allowed file descriptors
    that can be open at one time.
 7.   Set the limit for the shell you are in to use more than the default
    1024 file descriptors.
                                    bash$ ulimit -n 11000                    
 8.   Tell jadc2s how many file descriptors it is allowed to use:
    <!--  maximum number of file descriptors. Should be a prime        -->   
    <!--  number. At least four will be used by jadc2s itself,         -->   
    <!--  usually around six or seven (default: 1023)                  -->   
    <!--  For a list of prime numbers:                                 -->   
    <!--   -->   
      It is important that the number you pick is a prime number. To make it
    easy to find the prime you want you can visit this page [http://]
 9.   All that's left is to run the server, and the jadc2s processes.
    Everything should work fine. If it doesn't, then PLEASE tell me at <> so that I can fix this document.

3.2. Connection Redirection

3.2.1. The Dream

  Now that we have the c2s processes distributed across machines, we need to
get them to work together. We need two things, the ability to communicate how
many connections a c2s has to the others, and the ability to know who the
others are.

  [22:21] Jer: well, the "protocol" could just be an auth error of 3xx for
redirect w/ the ip/port to connect to

  Maybe we need to talk about the router layer sooner...


��*�Load balances nicely.


��*�  Requires client support for connection redirection. This is not hard to
    do, it is just not part of any client right now.

3.3. Router Layer

3.3.1. The Dream






3.4. Moving JSM State data into a DB

3.4.1. The Dream






3.5. Multiple JSMs

3.5.1. The Dream






3.6. JSM Communications

3.6.1. The Dream






  All copyrights belong to their respective owners. Other site content (c) 2014, GNU.WIKI. Please report any site errors to