Administration guide > Configure the deployment environment > Configuring catalog and container servers

Configure multi-master replication topologies

With the multi-master asynchronous replication feature, you use links to interconnect a set of domains, then eXtreme Scale synchronizes the domains, using replication over the links. Because you define the links among domains, you can construct almost any topology. Define links in the properties files of the catalog servers for each domain, or define links at runtime using Java Management Extensions (JMX) programs or the xsadmin command line utility. However you create links, the set of current links for a domain is stored in the catalog service, enabling you to add and remove links without restarting the domain (data grid).

Before you begin

Multi-master data grid replication topologies (AP) introduces you to the characteristics of various multi-master replication topologies. The following procedure describes the mechanics of configuring various links among domains to form the topology you choose. The section after the procedure provides some examples to illustrate how to set up specific topologies, such as a hub and spoke formation.

Also, map sets must have the following characteristics to replicate changes across catalog service domain links.

Any map sets with the preceding characteristics will be replicated after the catalog service domains in the topology have been started.


  1. Define links in the properties file for the catalog server of each domain in the topology, for bootstrap purposes.

    The property file is detected automatically if you name it (case sensitive on some systems) and place it on the classpath used when starting a catalog service instance. You also can specify its location on the command line to the startOgServer script, using the -serverProps parameter.

    Because the property names are case sensitive, take care on capitalization when updating the property file.

    Local Domain name

    Name of "this" domain, such as domain A:

    For example:


    An optional list of foreign domain names

    Names of "other" domains in the multi-master replication topology, such as domain B:


    An optional list of endpoints for the foreign domain names

    Connection information for the catalog servers of the foreign domains, such as domain B:

    For example:

    B.endPoints=hostB1:2809, hostB2:2809

    If a foreign domain has multiple catalog servers, specify all of them.

  2. Use the xsadmin command utility or JMX programming to add or remove links at runtime.

    The links for a domain are kept in the catalog service in replicated memory. This set of links can be changed at any time by the administrator without requiring a restart of this domain or any other domain. The xsadmin command line utility includes several options for working with links.

    The xsadmin utility connects to a catalog service and thus a single domain. Therefore, xsadmin can be used to create and destroy links between the domain it attaches to and any other domain.

    Use the command line to create a new link, for example:

    xsadmin –ch host –p 1099 –establishLink dname fdHostA:2809,fdHostB:2809

    The command establishes a new link between the ‘local' domain and the foreign domain named “dname” whose catalog service is running at fdHostA:2809 and fdHostB:2809. The local domain has a catalog service JVM with a JMX address of host:1099. Specify all catalog endpoints from the foreign domain so that fault tolerance connectivity to the domain is possible. It is not recommended to use a single host:port pair for the catalog service of the foreign domain.

    It does not matter which local catalog service JVM the xsadmin specifies using –ch and –p. Any catalog JVM will work. If the catalog is hosted in a WAS deployment manager, then the port is usually 9809.

    The ports specified for the foreign domain are NOT JMX ports. They are the usual ports you would use for eXtreme Scale clients.

    After the command to add a new link is issued, the catalog service instructs all containers under its management to begin replicating to the foreign domain. A link is not needed on both sides. It is only necessary to create a link on one side.

    Use the command line to remove a link, for example:

    xsadmin –ch host –p 1099 –dismissLink dname

    The command connects to the catalog service for a domain and instructs it to stop replicating to a specific domain. A link only needs to be dismissed from one side.


Suppose that to configure a two-domain setup involving Domains A and B.

Figure 1. Link between domains

Link between domains

Here is the property file for the catalog server in domain A:

B.endPoints=hostB1:2809, hostB2:2809

Here is the property file for the catalog server in domain B. Notice the similarity between the two property files.


After the two domains are started, then any data grids with the following characteristics will be replicated between the domains.

Note that the replication policy of a domain will be ignored.

The preceding example shows how to configure each domain to have a link to the other domain, but it is necessary only to define a link in one direction. This fact is especially useful in hub and spoke topologies, allowing a much simpler configuration. The hub property file does not require updates as spokes are added, and each spoke file needs only to include hub information. Similarly, a ring topology requires each domain to have only a link to the previous and next domain in the ring.

Figure 2. Hub and spoke topology

Hub and spoke topology

The hub and four spokes (domains A, B, C, and D) would have catalog server property files like the following examples.


The first spoke would have the following properties:

Hub.endPoints=hostH1:2809, hostH2:2809

The second spoke would have the following properties:

Hub.endPoints=hostH1:2809, hostH2:2809

The third spoke would have the following properties:

Hub.endPoints=hostH1:2809, hostH2:2809

The fourth spoke would have the following properties:

Hub.endPoints=hostH1:2809, hostH2:2809

Parent topic:

Configure catalog and container servers

Related concepts

Best practice: Clustering the catalog service

Topology planning for multi-master grid replication

Related tasks

Configure WebSphere eXtreme Scale with WAS

Configure quorum

Develop custom arbiters for multi-master replication

Related reference

Server properties file