Load Balancers – HA Proxy and ELB



Earlier I wondered how the sites like google handles the large number of requests reaching there. Later I came to know that there is a concept of load balancing. Using load balancing we can keep multiple servers in the back end and route the incoming requests to the back end servers. This will ensure faster response as well as high availability. This Load balancers play a very important role. There are a lot of opensource load balancers as well as paid services. HAProxy is one of the opensource load balancer. Amazon is providing a Load Balancer as a service known as Elastic Load Balancer (ELB).Using the load balancer, we can handle very large number of requests in a very reliable and optimal way. We can use this load balancer in Impala for load balancing the requests hitting the impala server. For on-premise environments, we can configure HAProxy and for cloud environments, we can use ELB.The ELB is a ready to use service, we just have to add the details of ports to be forwarded and the listener machines. HA Proxy is a very simple application that is available in the linux repositories. It is very easy to configure also.

Creating user home directories automatically in linux in case of LDAP

Users can be added to a linux machine either by creating manually or by syncing with an external authentication system such as LDAP. If you are creating users manually, the user home directories will be automatically created. But if you are syncing with an LDAP, the home directories will not be created automatically by default. If you are going to create all the home directories manually, it will be a tedious job, because in most of the cases, there will be hundreds of users. There are some methods to enable auto creation of user home directories.
One method is by using pam_mkhomedir.so. Another method is using oddjob. The method I am gonna discuss here is using oddjob. It is very easy to enable this feature. My operating system is CentOS 6.4. This solution will work with Redhat and CentOS operating systems.
First install oddjob and oddjob-mkhomedir packages.

yum install oddjob oddjob-mkhomedir

Then start the oddjob service. Make this daemon to start automatically on startup.

chkconfig oddjobd on
service oddjobd start

After this we have to update to our authentication mechanism to instruct oddjob to create the user home directories automatically.

authconfig --enablemkhomedir --update

Now we are ready. The user home directories will be created automatically on login.