Apache ActiveMQ Artemis ships with 2 architectures for providing HA features. The master and slave brokers can be configured either using network replication or using shared storage. This document will share restart sequences for the brokers under various circumstances when the client applications are connected to it.

1. Restarting 1 broker at a time

When restarting the brokers one at a time at regular intervals, it is not important to follow any sequence. We just need to make sure that atleast 1 broker in the master/slave pair is live to take up the connections from the client applications.

While restarting the brokers while the client applications are connected kindly make sure that atleast one broker is always live to serve the connected clients.

2. Completely shutting down the brokers and starting

If there is situation that we need to completely shutdown the brokers and start them again, please follow the following procedure:

  1. Shut down all the slave brokers.

  2. Shut down all the master brokers.

  3. Start all the master brokers.

  4. Start all the slave brokers.

This sequence is particularly important in case of network replication for the following reasons: If the master broker is shutdown first, the slave broker will come live and accept all the client connections. Then when the slave broker is stopped, the clients will remain connected to the last live connection i.e. slave. Now, when we start the slave and master brokers, the clients will keep trying to connecting to the last connection i.e. with slave and will never be able to connect until we restart the client applications. To avoid the hassle of restarting of client applications, we must follow the sequence as suggested above.

3. Split-brain situation

The following procedure helps the cluster to recover from the split-brain situation and getting the client connections auto-reconnected to the cluster. With this sequence, client applications do not need to be restarted in order to make connection with the brokers.

During the split brain situation both the master and slave brokers are live and there is no replication that is happening from the master broker to the slave.

In such situation, there can be some client applications that are connected to the master broker and other connected to the slave broker. Now after we restart the brokers and the cluster is properly formed.

Here, the clients that were connected to the master broker during the split brain situation are auto-connected to the cluster and start processing the messages. But the clients that got connected to the slave broker are still trying to make connection with the broker. This happens because the slave broker has restarted in 'back up' mode.

Thus, not all the clients get connected to the brokers and function properly.

To avoid such mishap, kindly follow the below sequence:

  1. Stop the slave broker

  2. Start the slave broker. Observe the logs for the message "Waiting for the master"

  3. Stop the master broker.

  4. Start the master broker. Observe the master broker logs for "Server is live" Observe the slave broker logs for "backup announced"

  5. Stop the master broker again. Wait until the slave broker becomes live. Observe that all the clients are connected to the slave broker.

  6. Start the master broker. This time, all the connections will be switched to master broker again,

During the split brain situation, messages are produced on the slave broker since it is live. While resolving the split brain situation, if there are some delta messages that are not produced on the slave broker. Those messages cannot be auto-recovered. There will be manual intervention required to retrieve the messages, sometime it is almost impossible to recover the messages. The above mentioned sequence helps in forming the cluster that was broken due to split brain and getting all the client applications to auto connected to the cluster without any need for client applications to be restarted.