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Welcome to the DevOps Library! This is Samantha, and today we're going to set up the Enterprise edition of Jenkins! Up until now, we've only been using the open-source version, but for the rest of this course, we'll mainly be focusing on enterprise functionality.

Additionally, we're going to set up Jenkins the RIGHT way, in full HA mode, with two masters sitting behind a load balancer.

Getting Started

Alright, let’s go ahead and get started. First, we're going to spin up two Ubuntu 14.04 instances on AWS. We recommend spinning them up in two different availability zones, that way Jenkins can survive an entire Amazon zone being unavailable.

To speed up the process, we have two cloud config files that you can use below, the only difference between them is the hostname.

hostname: jenkins01
fqdn: jenkins01
manage_etc_hosts: true
  - add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java -y
  - echo 'deb binary/' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
  - echo debconf shared/accepted-oracle-license-v1-1 select true | debconf-set-selections
  - echo debconf shared/accepted-oracle-license-v1-1 seen true | debconf-set-selections
  - wget -q -O - | sudo apt-key add -
  - apt-get update
  - apt-get install oracle-java8-installer nfs-common -y


If you'd prefer to configure both instances manually, the only thing we're doing in the cloud config is installing Java 8, NFS support, and adding the Jenkins enterprise repositories. Make sure you don't install Jenkins yet as we do need to configure shared storage.

Jenkins High Availability requires that both masters share an identical "$JENKINS_HOME" folder. Technically that means that you could MacGyver something using rsync or some other method, but we HIGHLY recommend using shared storage.

Setting up Shared Storage

Since we're on AWS, we'll use Amazon's EFS service to create a new NFS shared file system. We do need to make sure we have the right availability zones and security groups selected, but overall it's very easy to set up.

After the EFS share comes up, click the "DNS Names" link. You should see a DNS entry for each availability zone, we'll use these to mount the storage to our instances.

Alright, let's go ahead and SSH into both Jenkins VMs.


mkdir /var/lib/jenkins

That will create a directory for our Jenkins home. Next, open up your /etc/fstab file and add the following line: /var/lib/jenkins nfs4 rw,hard,intr 0 2

This is the line where we'll need to make sure we use the right DNS name for each zone, but other than that it's pretty easy. Alright, go ahead and save the file, then run "mount -a" to mount the storage, or you can just restart the instance.

You can also run df -h if you'd like to double check that the NFS share mounted correctly. If it is, you'll see it listed like we do here.

Installing Cloudbees Jenkins Platform

Ok, at this point, make sure you've got our NFS share mounted on both instances, then run an apt-get install jenkins on jenkins01. Once the install completes, you can access the Jenkins web UI on port 8080.

Since this is the enterprise version of Jenkins, you will need to request a trial license before you can do anything else. After you complete the registration, go ahead and do a Jenkins install on the second AWS instance.

Jenkins High Availability Overview

While that's installing, let's talk a little more in depth about what Jenkins High Availability is, and what it is not. Essentially, the Enterprise Jenkins HA plugin uses Jgroups to configure active/passive high availability when it detects that two masters are sharing the same Jenkins home.

Because we installed Jenkins on the Jenkins01 instance first, it'll start out as our "primary" instance.

If you try to access Jenkins02 on port 8080 on the other hand, you'll see a message letting you know that the node is standing by in case the primary instance fails. Effectively, a Jenkins fail-over results in the shutting down of the current Jenkins master, followed by it starting up on a second server.

Failover Overview

Because both masters share the same $JENKINS_HOME, a failover has the following characteristics. The following will all survive a failover event:

  • Jenkins Settings
  • Configuration of Jobs & Users
  • Fingerprints
  • Records of Builds
  • Artifacts
  • Test Reports

However, by default, any builds that were in-progress won't survive. Don't worry-- Cloudbees has released two plugins to address this issue. The Restart Aborted Builds plugin makes it easy to kick off any jobs that were running during a restart or failover event.

Or, by using the Long-Running Build plugin, you can create jobs that survive master restarts, although you'll have to change your jobs project type from FreeStyle to "Long Running Projects".

HA Health Checks

Alright, at this point, you should have two masters configured. Visit both of the Jenkins master URLs in your web browser, followed by /ha/health-check.

Jenkins01 should return Running as primary, and Jenkins02 should return Running as standby. Excellent job!! If we were to shut down or have Jenkins01 crash, Jenkins02 would automatically take its place as primary. The problem though is that our users would still have to change URLs after any failover. That's why we still have one final step; we need to set up a load balancer!

Setting up a Load Balancer

If you're not using AWS, your best bet is probably going to be something like HAproxy, or even an F5 if you have the budget. Thankfully for us, we can quickly set up an Amazon ELB, or "Elastic Load Balancer". Let's go ahead and do that now.

On your AWS console, click "Load Balancers", then "Create Load Balancer". Select "Classic Load Balancer", as we'll need to route both HTTP for the web interface, as well as a TCP port for JNLP.

Feel free to name the balancer whatever you'd like, then use port 80 for the listener port, and port 8080 on the instances. That way any traffic that comes in on port 80 to the load balancer will automatically be redirected to port 80 on the primary instance. You'll also want to add a TCP port for JNLP. We like to use 10001, but it doesn't matter what you use as long as it matches what you configure under your Global Security settings.

Configure ELB Health Check

Next, after you select a security group, we need to set up a health check. This is how Amazon determines to which instance traffic should flow. Remember that /ha/health-check URL we went to earlier? Use that for the ping path. That way, the only instance that AWS will see as healthy is the one currently running as primary.

You'll also want to lower the response timeout, interval, and healthy threshold. If you copy the settings we have here, and the primary master goes down, you should only experience a minute or two of downtime in the event of a failover, give or take depending on how many plugins and jobs you're using.

Alright, add the two instances, then finish creating the load balancer. Within a few minutes, the status of the load balancer should show one of two instances as healthy. Once you see that, go ahead and pull up the load balancer DNS name up in your browser.

There we go!!! Great job!! You've successfully set up the Cloudbees Enterprise Jenkins platform, and not only that, we're running it in full high availability mode!!! Aside from a few performance and security tweaks, these guys are ready for production use!! Right now we should be running off of Jenkins01.

Testing Failover

If you'd like to test a failover, go ahead and crash that VM or power it off, then refresh the URL to our load balancer. Within a few minutes, the secondary master should automatically take over as the primary, and our ELB will now point us to the new master. There we go!! Cool huh? You've done a fantastic job in this episode, thank you for watching!

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