High Availability Cluster

This page contains material copied from the neo4j wiki. It has been adapted to be used with Neo4j.rb.

1 Introduction

This feature is only available in the neo4j-enterprise edition Please add a dependency to the neo4j-enteprise gem and require it (in upcomming 2.0.0 release)

The Neo4j High Availability (HA) project has the following two goals:

  1. Provide a fault-tolerant database architecture, where several Neo4j slave databases can be configured to be exact replicas of a single Neo4j master database. This allows the end-user system to be fully functional and both read and write to the database in the event of hardware failure.
  2. Provide a horizontally scaling read-mostly architecture that enables the system to handle much more read load than a single Neo4j database.

Neo4j HA uses a single master and multiple slaves. Both the master and the slaves can accept write requests. A slave handles a write by synchronizing with the master to preserve consistency. Updates to slaves are asynchronous so a write from one slave is not immediately visible on all other slaves. This is the only difference between HA and single node operation (all other ACID characteristics are the same).

2 Installation of ZooKeeper

The example/ha-cluster example contains a complete configuration and setup for running ZooKeeper.

You can also set up zookeeper yourself by using the following instructions:

Go to zookeeper, select a mirror and grab the 3.3.2 release.

Unpack somewhere and create three config files called server1.cfg, server2.cfg and server3.cfg in the conf directory:


The other two config files will have a different dataDir and clientPort set, but the other parameters are identical to the first one:


Create the data directories:

zookeeper-3.3.2$ mkdir -p data/zookeeper1 data/zookeeper2 data/zookeeper3

Next we need to create a file in each data directory called “myid” that contains an id for each server equal to the number in “server.1” “server.2” and “server.3” from the configuration files.

zookeeper-3.3.2$ echo '1' > data/zookeeper1/myid
zookeeper-3.3.2$ echo '2' > data/zookeeper2/myid
zookeeper-3.3.2$ echo '3' > data/zookeeper3/myid

We are now ready to start the ZooKeeper instances:

zookeeper-3.3.2$ java -cp lib/log4j-1.2.15.jar:zookeeper-3.3.2.jar org.apache.zookeeper.server.quorum.QuorumPeerMain conf/server1.cfg &
zookeeper-3.3.2$ java -cp lib/log4j-1.2.15.jar:zookeeper-3.3.2.jar org.apache.zookeeper.server.quorum.QuorumPeerMain conf/server2.cfg &
zookeeper-3.3.2$ java -cp lib/log4j-1.2.15.jar:zookeeper-3.3.2.jar org.apache.zookeeper.server.quorum.QuorumPeerMain conf/server3.cfg &

For more information on ZooKeeper see here

3 Configure Neo4j.rb

You must set the Neo4j::Config['ha.db']=true configuration in order to start a HA clustered database (HighlyAvailableGraphDatabase) instead of a local graph database.

If the 'ha.db' configuration value is set to true it will also use the following configuration properties:

ha.db: true ha.machine_id: 2 ha.server: 'localhost:6002' ha.zoo_keeper_servers: 'localhost:2181,localhost:2182,localhost:2183'

The default configuration can be found here

4 Chef and Vagrant Scripts

Check out this cookbook.

5 Gotchas

You should only write to slave nodes. You can check if a node is a slave or master by


You can also get this info from the jconsole or neo4j-shell and the hainfo command, check the monitoring page

For more information, check the neo4j wiki.