Planning your configuration

IBM® Global High Availability Mailbox is an integrated system of several components and processes running in tandem to achieve high availability and data replication.

Each of these processes and components must be configured appropriately for seamless functioning of the system. Default configuration for a few components is specified during the installation. The Global Mailbox system includes the following components:
  • Global load balancer
  • Local load balancer
  • Shared file system
  • Database
  • WebSphere® MQ
  • Replication server
  • Apache Cassandra
  • Apache ZooKeeper
  • Storage
  • Sterling B2B Integrator
  • Sterling File Gateway
  • Global Mailbox management node
  • System management
Note: You must plan the nodes and the components on the initial node carefully. You cannot add new components to an additional node. You can only have the same components that are already installed on the initial node on the additional node.

Configuration for global load balancer, local load balancer, perimeter servers, and shared file system is governed by your organization and business requirements. The components must be configured based on vendor documentation. Configuration information that is related to these components is not provided in this or any other Global Mailbox topics.

Database configuration

You can set up and configure a supported database for Sterling B2B Integrator. Databases are not shared across data centers. Configuration data such as users, business processes, protocol adapters, and any other required information, must be manually synced (through export and import functions of Sterling B2B Integrator) between the databases to ensure consistency for high availability.

For information about supported databases and required configuration, see the Configure the Database topic in the appropriate operating system and environment section. For example, for information about supported databases and required configuration for UNIX or Linux cluster environment, see Configure the Database topic under UNIX/Linux Cluster Environment Installation.

WebSphere MQ configuration

WebSphere MQ is used to notify applications about events that are related to Global Mailbox, for example, when a message is added. Appropriate event rules for messages must be configured for the notification to function. The Global Mailbox management node raises events to notify Sterling B2B Integrator to run a business process. This is equivalent to the Routing Rule feature in the traditional Sterling B2B Integrator mailboxes.

For information about functioning of WebSphere MQ in the Global Mailbox system, see WebSphere MQ and the Global Mailbox system.

To configure WebSphere MQ for event processing, see Configuring event processing.

Replication server configuration

Replication server replicates payloads from the shared disk of one data center to the shared disk of another data center. A replicator process in each data center is responsible for replicating the payloads. Each data center requires at least two replication servers for high availability. Replication servers must be deployed on the same physical system as Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox.

A specific replication server configuration is not required for operating with Global Mailbox. The replication properties that are configured in the properties files govern the replication process. For information about configuring payload replication, see Configuring payload replication.

Cassandra configuration

Cassandra is used to store and replicate metadata across the servers in the Cassandra cluster in all the data centers. Both Sterling B2B Integrator and the Global Mailbox management node connect to Cassandra to perform metadata actions. It is important that these nodes have access to the entire Cassandra cluster. The number of Cassandra nodes depends on your business requirements, such as workload and the amount of data that is stored.

For information about configuring metadata replication, see Configuring metadata replication.

You can secure communication with Cassandra by implementing SSL. For more information, see Securing Apache Cassandra SSL connections.

Cassandra is sensitive to time stamps in synchronizing operations across nodes, due to which the time on machines where Cassandra nodes are installed must be kept in tight synchronization. For information about synchronizing time across Cassandra nodes, see Synchronizing time across Cassandra nodes.

ZooKeeper configuration

ZooKeeper is used to create distributed locks and coordinate actions across all Global Mailbox nodes. ZooKeeper requires quorum to operate properly. Half the number of nodes, plus one node, must be available to provide the required services. Therefore, it is required to have an odd number of ZooKeeper nodes in your Global Mailbox topology. The minimum number of nodes is three. However, five nodes provide high availability for a two data center configuration in production.

Global Mailbox installer configures default settings required to operate with Global Mailbox during the installation. A few network properties that are related to ZooKeeper are configured in the properties files. For more information about the properties, see Global Mailbox configuration properties files.

Storage configuration

Based on your business requirements, you can use any shared, highly available file system such as IBM GPFS™ or an HA NFS server, for payload storage. You must set up the file system and mount it on the servers that are running the following nodes:
  • Sterling B2B Integrator
  • Global Mailbox management node
  • Replication server

After installing the file system, you must create a base file path directory in the server that is hosting the shared file system and specify the directory as shared storage location when installing Global Mailbox.

In the Global Mailbox system, storage (file system) implementation is based on the concept of storage buckets. The buckets are containers (logical groups) in the file system, which are configured according to business requirements based on security and retention.

When Global Mailbox is installed, the installer runs the provision bucket script and sets up two default buckets, global_mbx and 1st_provisioned. The global_mbx bucket is set to use shared storage path that you provide for the local data center, during installation. The 1st_provisioned bucket is not used for any transactions. For more information, see Global Mailbox storage.

You can modify the default configuration for the global_mbx bucket based on your requirements. For more information, see Configuring storage.

Sterling B2B Integrator configuration

The Global Mailbox management node and Sterling B2B Integrator must be installed together on each server. After installing, the Sterling B2B Integrator node is registered with the Global Mailbox management node by the Installation Manager. The registration is required to use Global Mailbox. Each Sterling B2B Integrator must have a corresponding Global Mailbox management server node and the nodes must be co-located.

Most of the configuration that is required for Sterling B2B Integrator to function with Global Mailbox management node is configured by default during installation. For more information, see Default Global Mailbox and Sterling B2B Integrator configuration. You can modify the default configuration based on your requirements.

In addition to the configuration between Global Mailbox and Sterling B2B Integrator, you must configure the protocol adapters and specify other file transfer related settings like duplicate message handling and file transfer resumption. For more information, see Administering Sterling B2B Integrator.

Sterling File Gateway configuration

Sterling File Gateway facilitates the exchange of file-based information securely, in virtually any format, protocol, and file size. For information about configuration that is required for Sterling File Gateway to function with Global Mailbox, see Configuring Sterling File Gateway.

Global Mailbox management node configuration

In the Global Mailbox management node, you can assign virtual roots to users, mailboxes, and event rules. For more information, see Administering Global Mailbox.

IBM Control Center configuration

Global Mailbox sends system events to IBM Control Center to facilitate monitoring the status of Global Mailbox processes. Global Mailbox administrators must enable IBM Control Center functions, configure the connections to IBM Control Center, and specify the types of events that IBM Control Center receives. For information about configuring IBM Control Center, see Configuring IBM Control Center.

Global Mailbox system management configuration

System management functions like purge and other scheduled jobs are configured by default during installation. You can modify the configuration based on your requirements. For more information, see Administering scheduled jobs.