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Service High Availability

Distribution groups

Juju works with OpenStack, Amazon EC2 and Azure providers to ensure that in the event of an IaaS outage, not all units of a service will go down at the same time.

Each deployed service is considered a "distribution group", and so are state servers. Every time a unit is added to a distribution group, Juju will work to ensure that the its members are spread out to ensure high availability. As long as the charm and the charm's service are well written, you can rest assured that IaaS downtime will not affect your application.

Commands you already use for scaling now ensure your services are always available. e.g.

juju deploy -n 10 <service>

The way this works depends on whether Juju uses Availability Zones or Availability Sets for that provider.

Availability Zones

Juju supports Availability Zones on Amazon's EC2 and OpenStack-based clouds. Openstack Havana and newer is supported, which includes HP Cloud. Older versions of OpenStack are not supported.

If you do not specify a zone explicitly, Juju will automatically and uniformly distribute units across the available zones within the region. The spread is based on density of instance "distribution groups". This can be overridden with a placement directive. e.g.

juju bootstrap --to zone=us-east-1b
juju add-machine zone=us-east-1c

Azure Availability Sets

Juju supports Availability Sets on Microsoft's Azure. As long as at least two units are deployed, Azure guarantees 99.95% availability of the service overall. Exposed ports are automatically load-balanced across all units within the service. Using availability sets disables manual placement and the "add-machine" command.

In Juju 1.20 and later, new Azure environments use availability sets by default. To disable availability sets, the 'availability-sets-enabled' option must be set in environments.yaml like so:

availability-sets-enabled: false

Once an environment has been bootstrapped, you cannot change whether it uses availability sets. You would have to tear it down and create a new environment.

Availability Sets work differently from zones, but serve the same basic purpose. With zones, Juju directly ensures each unit of a distribution group is placed into a different zone. With sets, Juju places each unit of a distribution group into the same set, and Azure will then try to ensure that not all units in the set will become unavailable at the same time.