This repository provide a dockerized controller for a Mongo db replica-set deployed using a Docker Swarm
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MongoDB replica-set controller for Docker Swarm cluster

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This repository provides a dockerized controller for a Mongo DB replica-set deployed on a Docker Swarm cluster.

Officially tested mongo versions:

  • 3.6
  • 3.4
  • 3.2
  • 3.0

Officially tested docker versions:

How to use

First, you need to have a Docker Swarm (docker >= 17.06.0-ce) already setup (See Testing for a local setup). Secondly you need to create an overlay network called backend (when creating the network and setting up the Swarm cluster, be careful with MTU issues! Locally you won't have any, but using cloud providers, you may hit several ones):

  • docker network create --opt encrypted -d overlay backend

(to change the default MTU add --opt

Then, simply run

  • docker stack deploy -c docker-compose.yml STACK_NAME

Alternatively, you can use the simple script we created that covers both steps:

  • sh

Allow some time while images are pulled in the nodes and services are deployed. After a couple of minutes, you can check if all services are up, as usual, running:

$ docker service ls
ID                  NAME                MODE                REPLICAS            IMAGE                              PORTS
hmld6tiwr5o0        mongo_mongo         global              0/3                 mongo:3.2                          *:27017->27017/tcp
uppaix6drfps        mongo_controller    replicated          1/1                 martel/mongo-replica-ctrl:latest   

You can also check the operations performed by the controller reading the logs:

$ docker service logs -f mongo_controller
mongo_controller.1.7x6ujhg5naw7@swarm-1    | INFO:__main__:Waiting mongo service (and tasks) (mongo_mongo) to start
mongo_controller.1.7x6ujhg5naw7@swarm-1    | ERROR:__main__:Expired attempts waiting for mongo service (mongo_mongo)
mongo_controller.1.sv8eztwisitz@swarm-manager    | INFO:__main__:Waiting mongo service (and tasks) (mongo_mongo) to start
mongo_controller.1.sv8eztwisitz@swarm-manager    | INFO:__main__:Mongo service is up and running
mongo_controller.1.sv8eztwisitz@swarm-manager    | INFO:__main__:To remove: {'', ''}
mongo_controller.1.sv8eztwisitz@swarm-manager    | INFO:__main__:To add: {'', ''}
mongo_controller.1.sv8eztwisitz@swarm-manager    | INFO:__main__:new replSetReconfig: {'ok': 1.0}
mongo_controller.1.sv8eztwisitz@swarm-manager    | INFO:__main__:Primary is:

To remove the stack:

  • sh

You can configure the following environment variables for deploying your stack using the provided docker-compose.yml file (the variables are used in the controller service, so they are important, without configuring them, the service won't work correctly):

  • MONGO_VERSION, the default value is 3.2
  • REPLICASET_NAME, the default value is rs
  • MONGO_PORT, the default value is 27017
  • BACKEND_NETWORK_NAME, the default value is backend
  • STACK_NAME, the default value is mongo
  • MONGO_SERVICE_NAME, the default value is ${STACK_NAME:}_mongo

Few hints, to customise the docker-compose.yml orchestration according to your needs:

  • To use data persistence (which we recommend in production settings), the mongo service needs to be deployed in global mode (see docker-compose.yml line 25). This is to avoid that more than one instance is deployed on the same node and that different instances concurrently access the same MongoDB data space on the filesystem.

  • The controller that maintains the status of the replica-set must be deployed in a single instance over a Swarm manager node (see docker-compose.yml line 50). Multiple instances of the Controller, may perform conflicting actions! Also, to ensure that the controller is restarted in case of error, there is a restart policy in the controller service definition in docker-compose.yml line 53.

  • For HA purposes in a production environment your Swarm cluster should have more than one manager. This allows the controller to be start on different nodes in case of issues.

  • The docker-compose.yml makes use of an external network since it is meant to be used in combination with other services that access the Mongo replica-set. To open the access to the Mongo cluster outside the Swarm overly network, you can uncomment the Ports section in the docker-compose.yml line 8 file.

  • The Mongo health check script serves the only purpose of verifying the status of the MongoDB service. No check on cluster status is made. The cluster status is checked and managed by the controller service.

  • We used configs to pass the MongoDB health check script to the MongoDB containers (see docker-compose.yml line 15). While this is not the original purpose of configs, this allows to reuse directly the official Mongo images without changes.

  • If you are not sure if the controller is behaving correctly. Enable the DEBUG environment variable and check the logs of the container (uncomment docker-compose.yml line 42).

  • N.B. Don't use a service name starting with mongo for other services in the same stack. This may result in the controller to think that mongo is running while it is not.

  • To include addons such as nosqlclient as a mongodb management service, you can use the docker-compose-addons.yml. You can configure the exposed port for nosqlclient by setting the NOSQLCLIENT_PORT variable before you launch the stack.

  • docker stack deploy -c docker-compose-addons.yml addons


  • The script is able to connect to a pre-existing replica-set
  • The docker compose recipe include a simple healthcheck script for MongoDB
  • The script is able to detect a new primary node
  • The script is able to force the election of a new primary node, when the replica-set is inconsistent
  • The script is able to build a replica-set from scratch
  • The script is able to add and remove nodes dynamically according to the evolution of the swarm cluster
  • Given the about restart on failure is recommended as policy, this ensure that the scripts restart when it exit -1 and when the node where it is running is removed / drained (you need more than one master node!)
  • The repository includes a basic set of Travis CI tests that tests the script behavior against basic conditions in a single swarm node and without data persistence (initialization, scale up, scale down)
  • The repo includes Nosqlclient as mongodb management tool.


### Prerequisites

  • A Docker Swarm cluster (docker >= 17.06.0-ce) (locally or in the cloud as you prefer).
  • shunit2 installed on your client
  • (Optionally) VirtualBox if you want to use the scripts provided in utils folder.
  • (Optionally) docker-machine if you use the scripts provided in utils folder.
  • Your Docker client configured to point to the Docker Swarm cluster.


To test the script you need to set-up a Docker Swarm cluster. An easy way to do so is using miniswarm:

  • Download and install it:
# As root
curl -sSL -o /usr/local/bin/miniswarm
chmod +rx /usr/local/bin/miniswarm
  • Create your cluster
# 1 manager 2 workers
miniswarm start 3
  • Connect to your cluster
eval $(docker-machine env ms-manager0)
  • Delete your cluster
miniswarm delete


The script aims to cover the following cases (checked ones are the one covered):

  • Start a new MongoDB cluster with persistence data and checks that the controller configure it correctly.
  • Kills a MongoDB container and checks if a new container is created and the MongoDB cluster status is ok.
  • Kills a the Primary MongoDB container and checks if a new container is created and the MongoDB cluster status is ok.
  • Stop a Swarm node and checks if the MongoDB cluster status is ok.
  • Restart a Swarm node and checks if the MongoDB cluster status is ok.
  • Remove the MongoDB cluster and re-create it to verify that data persistence is not affecting the MongoDB status.

You can run the test with:

  • sh test/

Tests starting with ci-test are designed for Travis CI, they won't run locally, unless you install as well a MongoDB Client.

N.B.: Tests creates a cluster using miniswarm if you already created a cluster using it, the tests will delete it and create a new one.

To do

  • Support authentication to MongoDB
  • Add Travis CI tests to tests mongo primary and secondary container failure
  • Improve get_mongo_service function to avoid conflict with other services which name start with mongo


Contributions are welcome in the form of pull request.