MariaDB Monitor

MariaDB Monitor

Up until MariaDB MaxScale 2.2.0, this monitor was called MySQL Monitor.


The MariaDB Monitor is a monitoring module for MaxScale that monitors a Master-Slave replication cluster. It assigns master and slave roles inside MaxScale according to the actual replication tree in the cluster.


A minimal configuration for a monitor requires a set of servers for monitoring and a username and a password to connect to these servers.


Note that from MaxScale 2.2.1 onwards, the module name is mariadbmon; up until MaxScale 2.2.0 it was mysqlmon. The name mysqlmon has been deprecated but can still be used, although it will cause a warning to be logged.

The user requires the REPLICATION CLIENT privilege to successfully monitor the state of the servers.

MariaDB [(none)]> grant replication client on *.* to 'maxscale'@'maxscalehost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Common Monitor Parameters

For a list of optional parameters that all monitors support, read the Monitor Common document.

MariaDB Monitor optional parameters

These are optional parameters specific to the MariaDB Monitor.


A boolean value which controls if replication lag between the master and the slaves is monitored. This allows the routers to route read queries to only slaves that are up to date. Default value for this parameter is false.

To detect the replication lag, MaxScale uses the maxscale_schema.replication_heartbeat table. This table is created on the master server and it is updated at every heartbeat with the current timestamp. The updates are then replicated to the slave servers and when the replicated timestamp is read from the slave servers, the lag between the slave and the master can be calculated.

The monitor user requires INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE and SELECT permissions on the maxscale_schema.replication_heartbeat table and CREATE permissions on the maxscale_schema database. The monitor user will always try to create the database and the table if they do not exist.


Allow previous master to be available even in case of stopped or misconfigured replication.

Starting from MaxScale 2.0.0 this feature is enabled by default. It is disabled by default in MaxScale 1.4.3 and below.

This allows services that depend on master and slave roles to continue functioning as long as the master server is available. This is a situation which can happen if all slave servers are unreachable or the replication breaks for some reason.



Treat running slaves servers without a master server as valid slave servers.

This feature is enabled by default.

If a slave server loses its master server, the replication is considered broken. With this parameter, slaves that have lost their master but have been slaves of a master server can retain their slave status even without a master. This means that when a slave loses its master, it can still be used for reads.

If this feature is disabled, a server is considered a valid slave if and only if it has a running master server monitored by this monitor.



Enable support for MySQL 5.1 replication monitoring. This is needed if a MySQL server older than 5.5 is used as a slave in replication.



Detect multi-master replication topologies. This feature is disabled by default.

When enabled, the multi-master detection looks for the root master servers in the replication clusters. These masters can be found by detecting cycles in the graph created by the servers. When a cycle is detected, it is assigned a master group ID. Every master in a master group will receive the Master status. The special group ID 0 is assigned to all servers which are not a part of a multi-master replication cycle.

If one or more masters in a group has the @@read_only system variable set to ON, those servers will receive the Slave status even though they are in the multi-master group. Slave servers with @@read_only disabled will never receive the master status.

By setting the servers into read-only mode, the user can control which server receive the master status. To do this:

  • Enable @@read_only on all servers (preferably through the configuration file)
  • Manually disable @@read_only on the server which should be the master

This functionality is similar to the Multi-Master Monitor functionality. The only difference is that the MariaDB monitor will also detect traditional Master-Slave topologies.


Ignore any servers that are not monitored by this monitor but are a part of the replication topology. This option was added in MaxScale 2.1.12 and is disabled by default.

MaxScale detects if a master server replicates from an external server. When this is detected, the server is assigned the Slave and Slave of External Server labels and will be treated as a slave server. Most of the time this topology is used when MaxScale is used for read scale-out without master servers, a Galera cluster with read replicas being a prime example of this setup. Sometimes this is not the desired behavior and the external master server should be ignored. Most of the time this is due to multi-source replication.

When this option is enabled, all servers that have the Master, Slave, Slave of External Server, Running labels will instead get the Master, Running labels.


Detect standalone master servers. This feature takes a boolean parameter and from MaxScale 2.2.1 onwards is enabled by default. Up until MaxScale 2.2.0 it was disabled by default. In MaxScale 2.1.0, this parameter was called failover.

This parameter is intended to be used with simple, two node master-slave pairs where the failure of the master can be resolved by "promoting" the slave as the new master. Normally this is done by using an external agent of some sort (possibly triggered by MaxScale's monitor scripts), like MariaDB Replication Manager or MHA.

When the number of running servers in the cluster drops down to one, MaxScale cannot be absolutely certain whether the last remaining server is a master or a slave. At this point, MaxScale will try to deduce the type of the server by looking at the system variables of the server in question.

By default, MaxScale will only attempt to deduce if the server can be used as a slave server (controlled by the detect_stale_slave parameter). When the detect_standalone_master mode is enabled, MaxScale will also attempt to deduce whether the server can be used as a master server. This is done by checking that the server is not in read-only mode and that it is not configured as a slave.

This mode in mariadbmon is completely passive in the sense that it does not modify the cluster or any of the servers in it. It only labels the last remaining server in a cluster as the master server.

Before a server is labelled as a standalone master, the following conditions must have been met:

  • Previous attempts to connect to other servers in the cluster have failed, controlled by the failcount parameter

  • There is only one running server among the monitored servers

  • The value of the @@read_only system variable is set to OFF

In 2.1.1, the following additional condition was added:

  • The last running server is not configured as a slave

If the value of the allow_cluster_recovery parameter is set to false, the monitor sets all other servers into maintenance mode. This is done to prevent accidental use of the failed servers if they came back online. If the failed servers come back up, the maintenance mode needs to be manually cleared once replication has been set up.

Note: A failover will cause permanent changes in the data of the promoted server. Only use this feature if you know that the slave servers are capable of acting as master servers.


Number of failures that must occur on all failed servers before a standalone server is labelled as a master. The default value is 5 failures.

The monitor will attempt to contact all servers once per monitoring cycle. When detect_standalone_master is enabled, all of the failed servers must fail failcount number of connection attempts before the last server is labeled as the master.

The formula for calculating the actual number of milliseconds before the server is labelled as the master is monitor_interval * failcount.

If automatic failover is enabled (auto_failover=true), this setting also controls how many times the master server must fail to respond before failover begins.


Allow recovery after the cluster has dropped down to one server. This feature takes a boolean parameter is enabled by default. This parameter requires that detect_standalone_master is set to true. In MaxScale 2.1.0, this parameter was called failover_recovery.

When this parameter is disabled, if the last remaining server is labelled as the master, the monitor will set all of the failed servers into maintenance mode. When this option is enabled, the failed servers are allowed to rejoin the cluster.

This option should be enabled only when MaxScale is used in conjunction with an external agent that automatically reintegrates failed servers into the cluster. One of these agents is the replication-manager which automatically configures the failed servers as new slaves of the current master.


This feature is disabled by default. If set to ON, the monitor attempts to set the server read_only flag to ON on any slave server with read_only OFF. The flag is checked at every monitor iteration. The monitor user requires the SUPER-privilege for this feature to work. While the read_only-flag is ON, only users with the SUPER-privilege can write to the backend server. If temporary write access is required, this feature should be disabled before attempting to disable read_only. Otherwise the monitor would quickly re-enable it.

Failover, switchover and auto-rejoin

Starting with MaxScale 2.2.1, MariaDB Monitor supports replication cluster modification. The operations implemented are: failover (replacing a failed master), switchover (swapping a slave with a running master) and rejoin (joining a standalone server to the cluster). The features and the parameters controlling them are presented in this section.

These features require that the monitor user (user) has the SUPER and RELOAD privileges. In addition, the monitor needs to know which username and password a slave should use when starting replication. These are given in replication_user and replication_password.

All three operations can be activated manually through MaxAdmin/MaxCtrl. All commands require the monitor instance name as first parameter. Failover selects the new master server automatically and does not require additional parameters. Switchover requires the new master server name. Additionally, the user may designate the current master server in the switchover command. Rejoin requires the name of the joining server. Example commands are below:

call command mariadbmon failover MyMonitor
call command mariadbmon switchover MyMonitor SlaveServ3
call command mariadbmon switchover MyMonitor SlaveServ3 MasterServ
call command mariadbmon rejoin MyMonitor NewServer2

The commands follow the standard module command syntax. All require the monitor configuration name (MyMonitor) as the first parameter. For switchover, the following parameters define the server to promote (SlaveServ3) and the server to demote (MasterServ). For rejoin, the server to join (NewServer2) is required.

Failover can also activate automatically, if auto_failover is on. The activation begins when the master has been down for a number of monitor iterations defined in failcount.

Rejoin stands for starting replication on a standalone server or redirecting a slave replicating from the wrong master (any server that is not the cluster master). The rejoined servers are directed to replicate from the current cluster master server, forcing the replication topology to a 1-master-N-slaves configuration.

A server is categorized as standalone if the server has no slave connections, not even stopped ones. A server is replicating from the wrong master if the slave IO thread is connected but the master server id seen by the slave does not match the cluster master id. Alternatively, the IO thread may be stopped or connecting but the master server host or port information differs from the cluster master info. These criteria mean that a STOP SLAVE does not yet set a slave as standalone.

With auto_rejoin active, the monitor will try to rejoin any server matching the above requirements. When activating rejoin manually, the user-designated server must fulfill the same requirements.

The user can define files with SQL statements which are executed on any server being demoted or promoted by cluster manipulation commands. See the sections on promotion_sql_file and demotion_sql_file for more information.

Limitations and requirements

Switchover and failover only understand simple topologies. They will not work if the cluster has multiple masters, relay masters, or if the topology is circular. The server cluster is assumed to be well-behaving with no significant replication lag and all commands that modify the cluster complete in a few seconds (faster than backend_read_timeout and backend_write_timeout).

The backends must all use GTID-based replication, and the domain id should not change during a switchover or failover. Master and slaves must have well-behaving GTIDs with no extra events on slave servers.

Switchover requires that the cluster is "frozen" for the duration of the operation. This means that no data modifying statements such as INSERT or UPDATE are executed and the GTID position of the master server is stable. When switchover begins, the monitor sets the global read_only flag on the old master backend to stop any updates. read_only does not affect users with the SUPER-privilege so any such user can issue writes during a switchover. These writes have a high chance to break replication, because the write may not be replicated to all slaves before they switch to the new master. To prevent this, any users who commonly do updates should not have the SUPER-privilege. For even more security, the only SUPER-user session during a switchover should be the MaxScale monitor user.

When mixing rejoin with failover/switchover, the backends should have log_slave_updates on. The rejoining server is likely lagging behind the rest of the cluster. If the current cluster master does not have binary logs from the moment the rejoining server lost connection, the rejoining server cannot continue replication. This is an issue if the master has changed and the new master does not have log_slave_updates on.

If an automatic cluster operation such as auto-failover or auto-rejoin fails, all cluster modifying operations are disabled for failcount monitor iterations, after which the operation may be retried. Similar logic applies if the cluster is unsuitable for such operations, e.g. replication is not using GTID.

External master support

The monitor detects if a server in the cluster is replicating from an external master (a server that is not monitored by the monitor). If the replicating server is the cluster master server, then the cluster itself is considered to have an external master.

If a failover/switchover happens, the new master server is set to replicate from the cluster external master server. The usename and password for the replication are defined in replication_user and replication_password. The address and port used are the ones shown by SHOW ALL SLAVES STATUS on the old cluster master server. In the case of switchover, the old master also stops replicating from the external server to preserve the topology.

After failover the new master is replicating from the external master. If the failed old master comes back online, it is also replicating from the external server. To normalize the situation, either have auto_rejoin on or manually execute a rejoin. This will redirect the old master to the current cluster master.

Configuration parameters


Enable automated master failover. This parameter expects a boolean value and the default value is false.

When automatic failover is enabled, traditional MariaDB Master-Slave clusters will automatically elect a new master if the old master goes down and stays down a number of iterations given in failcount. Failover will not take place when MaxScale is configured as a passive instance. For details on how MaxScale behaves in passive mode, see the documentation on failover_timeout below.

The monitor user must have the SUPER and RELOAD privileges for failover to work.


Enable automatic joining of server to the cluster. This parameter expects a boolean value and the default value is false.

When enabled, the monitor will attempt to direct standalone servers and servers replicating from a relay master to the main cluster master server, enforcing a 1-master-N-slaves configuration.

For example, consider the following event series.

  1. Slave A goes down
  2. Master goes down and a failover is performed, promoting Slave B
  3. Slave A comes back

Slave A is still trying to replicate from the downed master, since it wasn't online during failover. If auto_rejoin is on, Slave A will quickly be redirected to Slave B, the current master.

replication_user and replication_password

The username and password of the replication user. These are given as the values for MASTER_USER and MASTER_PASSWORD whenever a CHANGE MASTER TO command is executed.

Both replication_user and replication_password parameters must be defined if a custom replication user is used. If neither of the parameters is defined, the CHANGE MASTER TO command will use the monitor credentials for the replication user.

The credentials used for replication must have the REPLICATION SLAVE privilege.

replication_password uses the same encryption scheme as other password parameters. If password encryption is in use, replication_password must be encrypted with the same key to avoid erroneous decryption.

failover_timeout and switchover_timeout

Time limit for the cluster failover and switchover in seconds. The default values are 90 seconds.

If no successful failover/switchover takes place within the configured time period, a message is logged and automatic failover is disabled. This prevents further automatic modifications to the misbehaving cluster.

failover_timeout also controls how long a MaxScale instance that has transitioned from passive to active will wait for a failover to take place after an apparent loss of a master server. If no new master server is detected within the configured time period, failover will be initiated again.

verify_master_failure and master_failure_timeout

Enable additional master failure verification for automatic failover. verify_master_failure is a boolean value (default: true) which enables this feature and master_failure_timeout defines the timeout in seconds (default: 10).

The failure verification is performed by checking whether the slaves are still connected to the master and receiving events. Effectively, if a slave has received an event within master_failure_timeout seconds, the master is not considered down when deciding whether to auto_failover.

If every slave loses its connection to the master (Slave_IO_Running is not "Yes"), master failure is considered verified regardless of timeout. This allows a faster failover when the master server crashes, as that causes immediate disconnection.

For automatic failover to activate, the failcount requirement must also be met.


This is a comma-separated list of server names that will not be chosen for master promotion during a failover. This does not affect switchover since in that case the user selects the server. Using this list can disrupt new master selection such that an unoptimal server is chosen. At worst, this will cause replication to break.


promotion_sql_file and demotion_sql_file

These optional settings are paths to text files with SQL statements in them. During promotion or demotion, the contents are read line-by-line and executed on the backend. Use these settings to execute custom statements on the servers to complement the built-in operations.

Empty lines or lines starting with '#' are ignored. Any results returned by the statements are ignored. All statements must succeed for the failover, switchover or rejoin to continue. The monitor user may require additional privileges and grants for the custom commands to succeed.

When promoting a slave to master during switchover or failover, the promotion_sql_file is read and executed on the new master server after its read-only flag is disabled. The commands are ran before starting replication from an external master if any.

demotion_sql_file is ran on an old master during demotion to slave, before the old master starts replicating from the new master. The file is also ran before rejoining a standalone server to the cluster, as the standalone server is typically a former master server. When redirecting a slave replicating from a wrong master, the sql-file is not executed.

Since the queries in the files are ran during operations which modify replication topology, care is required. If promotion_sql_file contains data modification (DML) queries, the new master server may not be able to successfully replicate from an external master. demotion_sql_file should never contain DML queries, as these may not replicate to the slave servers before slave threads are stopped, breaking replication.


Manual switchover and failover

Both failover and switchover can be activated manually through the REST API or MaxAdmin. The commands are only performed when MaxScale is in active mode.

It is safe to perform switchover or failover even with auto_failover on, since the automatic operation cannot happen simultaneously with the manual one.

When switchover is iniated via the REST-API, the URL path is:


where <monitor-instance> is the monitor section mame from the MaxScale configuration file, <new-master> the name of the server that should be made into the new master and <current-master> the server that currently is the master. If there is no master currently, then <current-master> need not be specified.

So, given a MaxScale configuration file like

servers=server1, server2, server3, server 4

with the assumption that server2 is the current master, then the URL path for making server4 the new master would be:


The REST-API path for manual failover is similar, although the <new-master> and <current-master> fields are left out.


Using the MariaDB Monitor With Binlogrouter

Since MaxScale 2.2 it's possible to detect a replication setup which includes Binlog Server: the required action is to add the binlog server to the list of servers only if master_id identity is set.

For addition information read the Replication Proxy tutorial.

Example 1 - Monitor script

Here is an example shell script which sends an email to an when a server goes down.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

#This script assumes that the local mail server is configured properly
#The second argument is the event type
message="A server has gone down at `date`."
echo $message|mail -s "The event was $event for server $server."

Here is a monitor configuration that only triggers the script when a master or a slave server goes down.

[Database Monitor]

When a master or a slave server goes down, the script is executed, a mail is sent and the administrator will be immediately notified of any possible problems. This is just a simple example showing what you can do with MaxScale and monitor scripts.


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