Do you need to create HA proxy and thinking of Nginx ? Or maybe thinking even further … about Nginx and docker ? So something really simple and what you can defenitely take to next level.

In my scenario I need something which you could call … hmmm a “service gateway” ?! Which i a nutshell is solution which exposes HA loadbalancer ( and in future also DNS with connection to Consul ).

Raw and basic design could look as follow :

keepalliveD - basic design

So what we have here are 2 hosts that will expose a VIP address. So nothing really edge cutting right 😀 And as recently I work a lot with Ubuntu following steps are geared towards that OS.


installation is really plain simple. You can use APT to get package installed by running:


And thats it for installation part 🙂 nothing like quick install 🙂



Configuration is something on which you can spend some more time tuning it to your needs. It does have a lot of options and I recommend just do a bit of reading. I will highlight here only bare metal basics to get you running. But complex scenarios are well possible.

Also you will notice that I do not use multicasting but switched to unicast


First thing which you want to configure is binding settings ( otherwise we want to be able to get solution running )


Next we create configuration file for our service


and once thats done you can paste contents of the snipet below


Once done  we create config file /etc/keepalived/keepalived.conf ( on our first node )


And on the other machine you place the same config but switch addresses in unicast source and peer


More details on configuration you can find here >>> ( I have found this link to be full of useful information )


Bringing service to live:

Now you might say that I have configured both as masters. But in this case first one to be online will become master.

Now on both nodes you can execute

And on one you should see your VIP address being online. voilla! HA service running and operational


Testing Nginx:

Now time has come to test nginx. for purposes of this demo I have setup both machines to host docker container of nginx



Great! So both are listening on correct VIP address. One is displaying message “Hello from Nginx-1” and second “Hello from Nginx-2”. Lets test that from client machine …

Initial request from our client machine :

Screenshot 2015-12-13 18.14.27


And let me know disable network interface on host-1 and once thats done we make request again

Screenshot 2015-12-13 18.17.45



The error you see here is kinda my fault (but wanted to highlight this ) since my keepaliveD service was stopped on the host. once I started the service it responded from the other host.



So now whats ur options ? Well quite a lot – as you can i.e. setup glusterFS and replicate your nginx config files / or use consul – explore consul template and use that for nginx dynamic files …

If you have any interesting use case scenarios leave them in comments!