Tag Archives: High

Exclusive: Russian high tech project flounders after U.S. sanctions
October 17, 2018 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – U.S. sanctions targeting Russia’s nascent high tech industry have caused a Russian microchip company significant financial woes and delayed the launch of an initiative meant to produce substitutes for Western products, the firm’s owner said.

FILE PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits a plant of Russian microchip company Angstrem-T in Zelenograd near Moscow, Russia August 3, 2016. Sputnik/Dmitry Astakhov/Pool via REUTERS

President Vladimir Putin has stressed the need to develop Russia’s domestic tech industry to make it less dependent on Western equipment. But Moscow’s efforts to manufacture Russian microchips and other high tech products have been thwarted by U.S. sanctions against a string of Russian tech companies.

Angstrem-T, which makes semi-conductors, has accumulated significant debts and is set to be taken over by state development bank VEB after failing to reimburse an 815-million-euro ($ 944.75 million) loan dating back to 2008, said Leonid Reiman, chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Reiman, Russia’s former minister of communications and information technologies, said the company’s inability to reimburse its debt was in part tied to U.S. restrictions on the import of dual-use technologies and its addition to U.S. Treasury sanctions in 2016.

The U.S. moves were prompted by Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. It has imposed further sanctions against Russia since 2016 over other issues.

Prior to the sanctions Angstrem-T purchased most of its equipment from U.S. multinational firm Advanced Micro Devices and bought a license from IBM to produce chips.

The company is heavily reliant on U.S. products, but the sanctions now bar it from doing business with U.S. firms.

“Although we initially received the (U.S.) State Department’s consent for this project and the delivery of the technology here, the sanctions caused the deadlines for its completion to be drawn out,” Reiman told Reuters.

“The factory is working, the products are being produced, but the question of procurement remains.”

FILE PHOTO: Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visits a plant of Russian microchip company Angstrem-T in Zelenograd near Moscow, Russia August 3, 2016. Sputnik/Dmitry Astakhov/Pool via REUTERS

VEB, which Reiman said could become the majority owner of Angstrem-T by the end of the year, declined to comment.

IMPORT SUBSTITUTION

When Angstrem-T began producing its first chips in 2016 after nearly a decade of false starts and delays, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev depicted the initiative as a way Russia could surmount already existing U.S. sanctions.

“It’s good that we are starting to produce these ourselves,” Medvedev said at the factory’s opening, a month before Angstrem-T itself was targeted by the U.S. sanctions. “It’s a question of import substitution.”

Reiman would not disclose the magnitude of Angstrem-T’s debt. According to a Russian database that aggregates company data, the firm had 87.4 billion roubles ($ 1.34 billion) in debt last year. During the same period it recorded revenues of 101 million roubles.

A source in the field of microelectronics in Russia said the sanctions and repeated delays in the project had caused Angstrem-T’s products to become outdated.

The market for the 90 and 130-nanometre microchips it produces has significantly shrunk in recent years, according to the source.

A draft Russian government roadmap for the development of the microchip industry seen by Reuters says that once VEB’s takeover is complete, Angstrem-T should shift its production to the more modern 28-nanometre chips.

Such chips are used in products made by companies like Apple, Samsung and Sony.

The ministry has for several years lobbied for Russia to build a modern microchip plant, but to no avail.

Reporting by Maria Kolomychenko; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Gareth Jones

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How Twitter Is Working to Protect Parkland, Fla. High School Students From Malicious Bots and Trolls
February 22, 2018 6:06 pm|Comments (0)

Twitter is working to shield Parkland, Fla. students from bots and trolls on the platform. Many of the high schoolers are organizing in the wake of the shooting at their school on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead.

As Marjory Stoneman Douglas students continue to speak out about gun control and their follower counts on Twitter rise, there are more instances of online abuse and conspiracy theories about these teenagers.

The claims that students are “crisis actors” paid to take advantage of the tragedy to further political agendas have spread on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

Students like Emma Gonzalez and Cameron Kasky, who have been some of the most vocal in the wake of the shooting, seem to be taking the disinformation in stride.

Meanwhile, Twitter is takings steps to protect these teens. The company moved quickly to verify some students’ accounts and says it is “actively working on” addressing reports of harassment and abuse.

Twitter is also using its anti-spam tools “to weed out malicious automation” targeting Parkland survivors and the conversation they’ve started.

Directly after the shooting, bots and users linked to the Russian influence campaign began pushing both sides of the gun control debate.

These announcements from Twitter come in the midst of an effort to purge bots from the site that also affected some real people. Many of the users locked out of their accounts were conservative voices on the platform, leading to calls of political bias, which the company denounced.

Users have called for Twitter to take action to combat abuse and harassment repeatedly, and the demands for better management of the platform and the community intensified after the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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Bitcoin gets back above $10,000 on Bitstamp, a more than two-week high
February 15, 2018 6:10 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bitcoin rose above $ 10,000 on Thursday for the first time in more than two weeks, as investors bought back the digital currency after having fallen 70 percent from its all-time peak hit around mid-December.

On the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, bitcoin rose as high as $ 10,095.82 and was last at $ 10,060.26, up 6 percent on the day.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

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AI Can Help Apple Watch Predict High Blood Pressure, Sleep Apnea
November 14, 2017 12:00 am|Comments (0)

The world’s most valuable company crammed a lot into the tablespoon-sized volume of an Apple Watch. There’s GPS, a heart-rate sensor, cellular connectivity, and computing resources that not long ago would have filled a desk-dwelling beige box. The wonder gadget doesn’t have a sphygmomanometer for measuring blood pressure or polysomnographic equipment found in a sleep lab—but thanks to machine learning, it might be able to help with their work.

Research presented at the American Heart Association meeting in Anaheim Monday claims that, when paired with the right machine-learning algorithms, the Apple Watch’s heart-rate sensor and step counter can make a fair prediction of whether a person has high blood pressure or sleep apnea, in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly through the night. Both are common—and commonly undiagnosed—conditions associated with life-threatening problems, including stroke and heart attack.

The new study adds to evidence that the right algorithms might transform the Apple Watch from personal trainer to personal physician. Apple said in September that it is working on a study with Stanford that will test whether the gadget can detect atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, which can lead to stroke or heart failure. A study independent of Apple presented in May has already suggested the answer is yes. And health insurer Aetna said last week that it is partnering with Apple to give Apple Watches to members to try to reduce health costs.

The Apple Watch’s potential to predict high blood pressure and sleep apnea was revealed by a collaboration between University of California San Francisco and a startup called Cardiogram. The company offers an app for organizing heart-rate data from an Apple Watch, and other devices with heart-rate sensors. UCSF provided data from more than 6,000 Apple Watch users enrolled in a study on mobile health. Cardiogram’s founders drew on their previous experience as Google employees, working on speech recognition for Android phones and the Google Assistant.

Cardiogram’s engineers took the kind of artificial neural networks that Google and others use to turn our speech into text and adapted them to interpret heart-rate and step count data. (Like speech, they are signals that vary over time.) The system, dubbed DeepHeart, is given strings of heart-rate and step data from multiple people, and information about their health conditions. In May, the company and UCSF released results showing that DeepHeart could figure out how to predict atrial fibrillation from a person’s Apple Watch data. The study presented Monday shows that with one week of data on a wearer, the algorithms can predict hypertension with roughly 80 percent accuracy, and sleep apnea with about 90 percent accuracy.

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Doctors don’t—and probably couldn’t—diagnose high blood pressure or sleep apnea just by eyeballing a week’s worth of data from your smartwatch. They diagnose hypertension by putting that familiar cuff on your arm. Sleep apnea requires a visit to a sleep clinic, or use of home monitoring equipment. So how do Cardiogram’s algorithms make good guesses without directly measuring a person’s blood pressure or breathing? We only sort of know.

Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure are all connected to our autonomic nervous system, which regulates the unconscious bodily functions that keep us alive. Past research has shown how hypertension and sleep apnea alter the dynamics of heart rate. For example, heart rate variability is lower in people with sleep apnea. But Brandon Ballinger, a Cardiogram cofounder, admits that he doesn’t know all the patterns in a person’s heart rate that his algorithms use to make predictions. “They’re kind of a foreign form of intelligence,” says Ballinger.

Ballinger says that, with the right testing, that doesn’t prevent his alien intelligence from having business potential. Cardiogram’s app for Apple Watch and other devices is free today. But the startup’s business plan is to one day add features that advise a user to be checked for atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea. To stay on the right side of the FDA, the app would have to advise a person to get tested, and not suggest the person has a particular condition. Cardiogram would make money by offering to ship the necessary equipment for a home test, and billing a person’s health insurer. The app could also provide advice after a diagnosis, or link people to medical practitioners or health coaches, Ballinger says. He predicts some of these features will appear within months.

That plan is plausible, but needs to be proved out. Leslie Saxon, a cardiologist and executive director of the Center for Body Computing at the University of Southern California, says the idea of inferring conditions indirectly from heart rate and step counts needs more testing. “The study is seeing a correlation and that’s important to know, but the value is still unproven for medicine,” she says. Saxon also notes that the Apple Watch’s heart data varies in accuracy depending on how a person wears the device. Cardiogram says it has more research underway, and expects accuracy to improve. There are now about 30,000 people enrolled in Cardiogram’s study with UCSF.

That’s big for a medical study—and perhaps a reflection of people’s readiness for wearables like the Apple Watch to act as medical advisers. Saxon says studies at USC have shown that patients eagerly engage with apps capable of medical-grade measurements. If people are properly educated about what they can do alone, their health care is better managed as a result, she says. Her center’s projects include testing a mobile heart sensor that pairs with a phone or watch made by startup AliveCor. “Patients would much rather self-manage than deal with you, the physician,” says Saxon. “And they’re already on their phone 200 times a day.” If Cardiogram and Saxon are right, medical-grade notifications may soon nestle among those for our Snaps, likes, and texts.

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‘Glee’-Cap: Michael Jackson Invades McKinley High
August 12, 2017 1:30 am|Comments (0)

King of Pop’s takeover leads to some head-scratching song choices.
By Jim Cantiello

<P>”Glee” paid tribute to Michael Jackson during Tuesday night’s episode and, shockingly, kept the story moving along in the midst of several MJ-inspired musical numbers. Kurt, Rachel and Quinn all received great news about college, Rachel finally accepted Finn’s proposal and evil Sebastian’s plot to harm Kurt with a doctored slushee backfired when Blaine took the hit for his boyfriend. </P><P> </P><P></p><div class=”player-placeholder right” title=”‘Glee’-Cap: Michael Jackson Takes Over McKinley High” id=”vid:730282.id:1671179″ width=”240″ height=”211″></div><p> </P><P> </P><P>Yet the forced “all Michael, all the time” song selection led to some head-scratching scenes including Kurt, Rachel and Finn serenading an injured Blaine with Jackson’s love song to a rat, “Ben,” and two different music-video re-enactments only appealed to Jackson superfans. The rest of us can enjoy my latest “Glee-cap”! Hit play on the embedded video and sing along with these lyrics. </P><P> </P><P>”Glee,” “Glee” ‘s really hit the skids<br> </P><P>MJ would have loved all the singing kids </P><P> </P><P>Time for a tribute<br> </P><P>Veiled as a dispute<br> </P><P>They all imitate<br> </P><P>Michael’s vocal takes </P><P> </P><P>Wish they didn’t try<br> </P><P>To simply ape his sigh<br> </P><P>I guess “Glee” got paid<br> </P><P>In tickets to <a href=”http://newsroom.mtv.com/2011/12/07/jackson-family-and-crew-talk-about-new-cirque-du-soleil-show-michael-jackson-immortal/”>Cirque du Soleil</a> </P><P> </P><P>It’s bad! It’s bad! Come on! </P><P> </P><P>Oh, pointless themed episodes<br> </P><P>Make me push fast-forward on my TiVo </P><P> </P><P>Artie’s “Scream” remake<br> </P><P>Complete with head shakes<br> </P><P>Tired of getting dissed<br> </P><P>Mike Chang’s now his sis? </P><P> </P><P>Warblers fight for songs<br> </P><P>No prob doing wrong<br> </P><P>They’re all blindly cruel<br> </P><P>Since Blaine left their school </P><P> </P><P>Quinn sang goodbye to every ex<br> </P><P>Have a seat, this’ll take awhile<br> </P><P>(She’s had lots of sex)<br> </P><P>Quinn got into Yale<br> </P><P>And I’m all, “How?” <br> </P><P>Then got distracted by Damian’s hyper eyebrows </P><P> </P><P>They’re bad! They’re bad! Relax them! <br> </P><P>If you don’t, I will come wax them! </P><P> </P><P>Slutpig tried to slushee Kurt<br> </P><P>But Blaine got in the way<br> </P><P>Left him needing surgery<br> </P><P>How dare you hurt my gay! <br> </P><P>Despite Blaine’s cute eye patch<br> </P><P>Kurt is hungry for revenge<br> </P><P>But that’s a different better show on ABC, my friend </P><P> </P><P>”Glee,” drop the shtick, you’re better than this<br> </P><P>Forcing Jackson songs is just as bad as this forced kiss<br> </P><P>Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean it has worth<br> </P><P>Unless you’re trying to give me nightmares<br> </P><P>In that case, it worked </P><P> </P><P>No more bells and whistles, please<br> </P><P>Clever songs are all you need<br> </P><P>I get it, Ryan Murphy, Blaine had to bleed<br> </P><P>So <a href=”/news/articles/1676997/darren-crisis-how-to-succeed-in-business.jhtml”>Darren could star in “How to Succeed”</a> </P><P> </P><P>But making Kurt and Finchel sing “Ben” to Blaine<br> </P><P>Is the very definition of insane<br> </P><P>I hope next week they get it right<br> </P><P>With no stupid guests hogging “Glee” ‘s spotlight </P><P> </P><P>[<i>Cue clip of next week’s episode starring Ricky Martin</i>] </P><P> </P><P>Whoops! </P><P> </P><P><i>What did you think of this week’s “Glee”? Let us know in the comments!</i></p>

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Source:
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1678333/glee-cap-michael-jackson-invades-mckinley-high.jhtml

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Adapting InfiniBand for High Performance Cloud Computing
January 17, 2017 7:20 pm|Comments (0)

When it comes to low-latency interconnects for high performance computing, InfiniBand immediately springs to mind. On the most recent Top 500 list, …


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How To Create a High Availability HAProxy Setup with Corosync, Pacemaker, and Floating IPs on Ubuntu 14.04
March 7, 2016 7:10 pm|Comments (0)

A high availability architecture is one of the key requirements for any Enterprise Deployment network. In this tutorial we will cover the build of a two-node high-availability cluster using the Corosync cluster engine, and the Pacemaker resource manager on Ubuntu 14.04 with a Floating IP to create a high availability (HA) server infrastructure on our Cloud Enviroment.

The Corosync Cluster Engine is an open source project derived from the OpenAIS project licensed under the new BSD License. It allows any number of servers to be part of the cluster using any number of fault-tolerant configurations (active/passive, active/active, N+1, etc.). Corosync effort is to develop, release, and support a community-defined, open source cluster executive for use by multiple open source and commercial cluster projects or products that provides messaging between servers within the same cluster.

Pacemaker is an open source high availability resource manager software used on computer clusters that manages the resources and applications on a node within the cluster. It implements several APIs for controlling resources, but its preferred API for this purpose is the Open Cluster Framework resource agent API.

How it works

We are going to setup the High Availability Cluster that will consist of two Ubuntu 14.04 servers accomplished with a Floating IP in active/passive configurations. The users will access the web services from the primary node unless any failure is detected by the pacemaker. In a situation when the Primary node fails the secondary node will become active using the script that will reassign the floating IP to the secondary node to serve the incoming traffic.

Prerequisites

In order to complete this article we need to build two nodes with Ubuntu 14.04 Operating System installed and setup their unique FQDN. Then we need a floating IP address to be assigned with any one node that will be used for the fail over.

We will follow the steps in the following sequence to setup the fully functional HAProxy on Ubuntu 14.04.

1 – Create 2 Ubuntu Nodes
2 – Create Floating IP to assign to one node.
3 – Install and configure Corosync
4 – Install and configure Pacemaker
5 – Configuration of Corosync Cluster
6 – Pacemaker Configuration
7 – Configure Nginx Cluster Resource

Step 1: Creating 2 Ubuntu Nodes

The first step is to create 2 separate Ubuntu nodes and configure their FQDN’s that represents them. Here we will be using ‘Ubuntu-14-P’ for our primary node and ‘Ubuntu-14-S’ for the secondary node. Make sure that on each node Private Networking option should be enabled. Now login to both your servers using the sudo user and run the following commands on both servers as a root to update your servers, install the Nginx web server and then configure the default web page with some test contents that represents the name of the current node.

#apt-get -y update #apt-get -y install nginx

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Now replace the contents of ‘index.html’ with your primary and secondry hostname and IP address which will be useful for testing which Node the Floating IP is pointing to at any given moment. You can do so by adding your host information using your editor.

#vim /usr/share/nginx/html/index.html

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Save and close the configuration file and update the secondary node with its host name and IP address.

Step 2: Configure Floating IP

A Floating IP is an IP address that can be instantly moved from one Node to another Node in the same datacenter. So as the Part of a highly available infrastructure, we need to immediately point an IP address to a redundant server. You can generate your new floating IP from the cloud console and assign it the the Primary node.

Once you have assigned the floating IP to your Primary server, open your web browser followed by the Floating IP address. You will see the same contents by pointing the original IP address or the floating IP address.

http://your_floating_ip

You will see the following page after pointing the IP address of your server in the web browser.

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Setup Time Synchronization

Time synchronization is important when you are working on setting up the clusters. In clusters each node have to communicate with the other node. Let’s run the following command on both the server nodes .

# dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Select the same time on both servers and then update your servers followed by the installation of ‘ntp’ package by using the below commands.

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After time zone setup run the command to update your system once again.

# apt-get update # apt-get -y install ntp

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Step 3: Installing Corosync and Pacemaker

Now we are going to install the Corosync and Pacemaker packages on both servers using the following command.

# apt-get install pacemaker

Corosync will be installed as a dependency of the pacemaker. Press ‘y’ key to continue the installation process.

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Step 4: Corosync Configuration

After the installation is complete with required packages of corosync and pacemaker on both the nodes, we are going to configure the Corosync, So that both the servers can communicate as a cluster. So, in oder to allow nodes to join a cluster, Corosync requires that each node possesses an identical cluster authorization key.

Let’s run the following command on the Primary node to install the ‘haged’ package so that we can easily increase the amount of entropy on our server required by the ‘corosync-keygen’ script

primary_node# apt-get install haveged

Then run the below command to generate a 128-byte cluster authorization key as shown.

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Now copy the generated ‘authkey’ across to the secondary node using the ‘scp’ command as shown below.

primary_node# scp /etc/corosync/authkey user@secondry_node:/tmp

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Then come the secondary node and place the ‘authkey’ file in a proper location with right permission using the following commands.

secondry_node# mv /tmp/authkey /etc/corosync/ secondry_node# chown root: /etc/corosync/authkey secondry_node# chmod 400 /etc/corosync/authkey

Step 5: Configuration of Corosync Cluster

To get our desired cluster up and running, we must set up these configurations by opening the ‘corosync.conf’ with following parameters on both servers. So the configurations should be same on both servers.

# vim /etc/corosync/corosync.conf  totem {         version: 2          # How long before declaring a token lost (ms)         token: 3000          # How many token retransmits before forming a new configuration         token_retransmits_before_loss_const: 10          # How long to wait for join messages in the membership protocol (ms)         join: 60          # How long to wait for consensus to be achieved before starting a new round of membership configuration (ms)         consensus: 3600          # Turn off the virtual synchrony filter         vsftype: none          # Number of messages that may be sent by one processor on receipt of the token         max_messages: 20          # Limit generated nodeids to 31-bits (positive signed integers)         clear_node_high_bit: yes          # Disable encryption         secauth: off          # How many threads to use for encryption/decryption         threads: 0          # Optionally assign a fixed node id (integer)         # nodeid: 1234          # This specifies the mode of redundant ring, which may be none, active, or passive.         rrp_mode: none 		interface {                 # The following values need to be set based on your environment                  ringnumber: 0                 bindnetaddr: primary_servers_ip                 mcastaddr: 226.94.1.1                 mcastport: 5405         } }  amf {         mode: disabled }  quorum {         # Quorum for the Pacemaker Cluster Resource Manager         provider: corosync_votequorum         expected_votes: 1 }  aisexec {         user:   root         group:  root }  nodelist {   node {     ring0_addr: primary_servers_ip     name: ubuntu-14-p     nodeid: 1   }   node {     ring0_addr: secondry_servers_ip     name: ubuntu-14-s 	nodeid: 2   } } 	 

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Save the file and then we need to configure Corosync to allow the Pacemaker service on both servers by creating a new ‘pcmk’file with following code that will be included in the Corosync configuration, and allows Pacemaker to use Corosync to communicate with our servers.

# vi /etc/corosync/service.d/pcmk  service {   name: pacemaker   ver: 1 } 

Open the corosync file to enable its service at boot and then run the command to start its service on both the servers after saving the configuration file.

# vi /etc/default/corosync  # start corosync at boot [yes|no] START=yes  # service corosync start

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Step 6: Pacemaker Configuration and Start-up

As we have done with the corosync, now we move forward to configure Pacemaker services and enable its starup priority level.

Run the following command to enable pacemaker startup with priority 20 because it must start after the corosync and the default priority of corosync is 19. So, here we will define its priority to 20 and then start its service as shown below.

# update-rc.d pacemaker defaults 20 01 # service pacemaker start

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Now check the status of Pacemaker using the CRM utility. Simply run the following command and it will show you the online state of both your nodes.

# crm status

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Step 7: Adding NGINX Resource

We have successfully configured both nodes. Now we are going to add the Nginx resource as pacemaker comes with its default Nginx resource agent. So, we are going to make Nginx service highly available using the floating IP that we have configured. Let’s run the following command to create a new primitive cluster resource called “Nginx” as shown below.

# crm configure primitive Nginx ocf:heartbeat:nginx    params httpd="/usr/sbin/nginx"    op start timeout="40s" interval="0"    op monitor timeout="30s" interval="10s" on-fail="restart"    op stop timeout="60s" interval="0"

This will monitor the Nginx every 10 seconds, and restart it if it becomes unavailable. Then create a clone resource that specifies existing primitive resource to be started on multiple nodes by running the command as shown below.

# crm configure clone Nginx-clone Nginx

To create a colocation restraint called “FloatIP-Nginx” by using the following command.

# crm configure colocation FloatIP-Nginx inf: FloatIP Nginx-clone

This will create the ‘colocation’ resource and both of your servers will have Nginx running, while only one of them resource will be running with Floating IP. Now whenever Nginx services will stop on one server it will be migrated to the secondry node.

Let’s run the following command on the secondary node to check the crm status.

# crm configure show # crm status

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Conclusion

We are successful in setting up the basic High Availability setup using the Corosync, Pacemaker and a Floating IP address with two Ubuntu Nodes as a Primary and Secondary. Using the same scenario you can configure the HAProxy load balancers that will be configured to split traffic between two backend application servers. If the primary load balancer goes down, the Floating IP will be moved to the second load balancer automatically, allowing service to resume. You can use the same configuration method for any other application to setup high-availability.


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