Deploy CockroachDB on Microsoft Azure (Insecure)

Warning:
This version of CockroachDB is no longer supported. For more details, see the Release Support Policy.

This page shows you how to manually deploy an insecure multi-node CockroachDB cluster on Microsoft Azure, using Azure's managed load balancing service to distribute client traffic.

Warning:
If you plan to use CockroachDB in production, we strongly recommend using a secure cluster instead. Select Secure above for instructions.

Requirements

You must have SSH access to each machine with root or sudo privileges. This is necessary for distributing binaries and starting CockroachDB.

Recommendations

  • If you plan to use CockroachDB in production, we recommend using a secure cluster instead. Using an insecure cluster comes with risks:

    • Your cluster is open to any client that can access any node's IP addresses.
    • Any user, even root, can log in without providing a password.
    • Any user, connecting as root, can read or write any data in your cluster.
    • There is no network encryption or authentication, and thus no confidentiality.
  • For guidance on cluster topology, clock synchronization, and file descriptor limits, see Recommended Production Settings.

  • Decide how you want to access your Admin UI:

    • Only from specific IP addresses, which requires you to set firewall rules to allow communication on port 8080 (documented on this page).
    • Using an SSH tunnel, which requires you to use --http-host=localhost when starting your nodes.

Step 1. Configure your network

CockroachDB requires TCP communication on two ports:

  • 26257 (tcp:26257) for inter-node communication (i.e., working as a cluster), for applications to connect to the load balancer, and for routing from the load balancer to nodes
  • 8080 (tcp:8080) for exposing your Admin UI

To enable this in Azure, you must create a Resource Group, Virtual Network, and Network Security Group.

  1. Create a Resource Group.

  2. Create a Virtual Network that uses your Resource Group.

  3. Create a Network Security Group that uses your Resource Group, and then add the following inbound rules to it:

    • Admin UI support:

      Field Recommended Value
      Name cockroachadmin
      Source IP Addresses
      Source IP addresses/CIDR ranges Your local network’s IP ranges
      Source port ranges *
      Destination Any
      Destination port range 8080
      Protocol TCP
      Action Allow
      Priority Any value > 1000
    • Application support:

      Tip:
      If your application is also hosted on the same Azure Virtual Network, you will not need to create a firewall rule for your application to communicate with your load balancer.
      Field Recommended Value
      Name cockroachapp
      Source IP Addresses
      Source IP addresses/CIDR ranges Your local network’s IP ranges
      Source port ranges *
      Destination Any
      Destination port range 26257
      Protocol TCP
      Action Allow
      Priority Any value > 1000

Step 2. Create VMs

Create Linux VMs for each node you plan to have in your cluster. We recommend:

  • Running at least 3 nodes to ensure survivability.
  • Selecting the same continent for all of your VMs for best performance.

When creating the VMs, make sure to select the Resource Group, Virtual Network, and Network Security Group you created.

Step 3. Set up load balancing

Each CockroachDB node is an equally suitable SQL gateway to your cluster, but to ensure client performance and reliability, it's important to use load balancing:

  • Performance: Load balancers spread client traffic across nodes. This prevents any one node from being overwhelmed by requests and improves overall cluster performance (queries per second).

  • Reliability: Load balancers decouple client health from the health of a single CockroachDB node. In cases where a node fails, the load balancer redirects client traffic to available nodes.

Microsoft Azure offers fully-managed load balancing to distribute traffic between instances.

  1. Add Azure load balancing. Be sure to:

    • Set forwarding rules to route TCP traffic from the load balancer's port 26257 to port 26257 on the node Droplets.
    • Configure health checks to use HTTP port 8080 and path /health.
  2. Note the provisioned IP Address for the load balancer. You'll use this later to test load balancing and to connect your application to the cluster.

Note:
If you would prefer to use HAProxy instead of Azure's managed load balancing, see Manual Deployment for guidance.

Step 4. Start the first node

  1. SSH to your VM:

    $ ssh <username>@<node1 external IP address>
    
  2. Install the latest CockroachDB binary:

    # Get the latest CockroachDB tarball.
    $ wget https://s3.amazonaws.com/binaries.cockroachdb.com/cockroach-v1.0.7.linux-amd64.tgz
    
    # Extract the binary.
    $ tar -xzf cockroach-v1.0.7.linux-amd64.tgz  \
    --strip=1 cockroach-v1.0.7.linux-amd64/cockroach
    
    # Move the binary.
    $ sudo mv cockroach /usr/local/bin/
    
  3. Start a new CockroachDB cluster with a single node:

    $ cockroach start --insecure \
    --background \
    --advertise-host=<node1 internal IP address>
    
    Note:
    You can find the VM's internal IP address listed in the Resource Group's Virtual Network.

Step 5. Add nodes to the cluster

At this point, your cluster is live and operational but contains only a single node. Next, scale your cluster by setting up additional nodes that will join the cluster.

  1. SSH to your VM:

    $ ssh <username>@<additional node external IP address>
    
  2. Install CockroachDB from our latest binary:

    # Get the latest CockroachDB tarball.
    $ curl https://binaries.cockroachdb.com/cockroach-v1.0.7.linux-amd64.tgz
    
    # Extract the binary.
    $ tar -xzf cockroach-v1.0.7.linux-amd64.tgz  \
    --strip=1 cockroach-v1.0.7.linux-amd64/cockroach
    
    # Move the binary.
    $ sudo mv cockroach /usr/local/bin/
    
  3. Start a new node that joins the cluster using the first node's internal IP address:

    $ cockroach start --insecure \
    --background \
    --advertise-host=<node internal IP address> \
    --join=<node1 internal IP address>:26257
    
  4. Repeat these steps for each VM you want to use as a node.

Step 6. Test your cluster

CockroachDB replicates and distributes data for you behind-the-scenes and uses a Gossip protocol to enable each node to locate data across the cluster.

To test this, use the built-in SQL client as follows:

  1. SSH to your first node:

    $ ssh <username>@<node2 external IP address>
    
  2. Launch the built-in SQL client and create a database:

    $ cockroach sql --insecure
    
    > CREATE DATABASE insecurenodetest;
    
  3. In another terminal window, SSH to another node:

    $ ssh <username>@<node3 external IP address>
    
  4. Launch the built-in SQL client:

    $ cockroach sql --insecure
    
  5. View the cluster's databases, which will include insecurenodetest:

    > SHOW DATABASES;
    
    +--------------------+
    |      Database      |
    +--------------------+
    | crdb_internal      |
    | information_schema |
    | insecurenodetest   |
    | pg_catalog         |
    | system             |
    +--------------------+
    (5 rows)
    
  6. Use CTRL-D, CTRL-C, or \q to exit the SQL shell.

Step 7. Test load balancing

The Azure load balancer created in step 3 can serve as the client gateway to the cluster. Instead of connecting directly to a CockroachDB node, clients can connect to the load balancer, which will then redirect the connection to a CockroachDB node.

To test this, install CockroachDB locally and use the built-in SQL client as follows:

  1. Install CockroachDB on your local machine, if it's not there already.

  2. Launch the built-in SQL client, with the --host flag set to the load balancer's IP address:

    $ cockroach sql --insecure \
    --host=<load balancer IP address> \
    --port=26257
    
  3. View the cluster's databases:

    > SHOW DATABASES;
    
    +--------------------+
    |      Database      |
    +--------------------+
    | crdb_internal      |
    | information_schema |
    | insecurenodetest   |
    | pg_catalog         |
    | system             |
    +--------------------+
    (5 rows)
    

    As you can see, the load balancer redirected the query to one of the CockroachDB nodes.

  4. Check which node you were redirected to:

    > SELECT node_id FROM crdb_internal.node_build_info LIMIT 1;
    
    +---------+
    | node_id |
    +---------+
    |       3 |
    +---------+
    (1 row)
    
  5. Use CTRL-D, CTRL-C, or \q to exit the SQL shell.

Step 8. Monitor the cluster

View your cluster's Admin UI by going to http://<any node's external IP address>:8080.

On this page, verify that the cluster is running as expected:

  1. Click View nodes list on the right to ensure that all of your nodes successfully joined the cluster.

  2. Click the Databases tab on the left to verify that insecurenodetest is listed.

Tip:
You can also use Prometheus and other third-party, open source tools to monitor and visualize cluster metrics and send notifications based on specified rules. For more details, see Monitor CockroachDB with Prometheus.

Step 9. Use the database

Now that your deployment is working, you can:

  1. Implement your data model.
  2. Create users and grant them privileges.
  3. Connect your application. Be sure to connect your application to the Azure load balancer, not to a CockroachDB node.

See Also

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