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Getting Started with Network of Brokers

Getting started image

Purpose of this Guide

The purpose of this guide is to familiarize you with a feature being introduced in PeerGFS v5.1: Network of Brokers. It will introduce you to the feature set, UI, and workflow of the Network of Brokers and step you through creating a broker network.

This guide assumes general familiarity with installing and using PeerGFS. This guide focuses on the Network of Brokers feature, not on the broader capabilities of PeerGFS. If you are not familiar with installing PeerGFS, please discuss this with your Peer Software point-of-contact. See the PeerGFS User Guide for more information about other features and settings.


Peer Management Broker is a key technology that is used by PeerGFS to facilitate communication between Agents and Peer Management Center. With the new Network of Brokers capability, customers can deploy multiple instances of Peer Management Broker across their infrastructure to better optimize and control the flow of replication traffic. This capability benefits scenarios such as:

  • Customers with file servers that span multiple continents - For example, the PMC can be deployed in a data center in the US with regional brokers deployed in Europe and in Asia. Replication of data between sites in Europe or between sites in Asia would no longer need to flow through the US.
  • Customers looking to deploy the PMC in public cloud infrastructure for ease of access - On-premises brokers can be deployed to eliminate ingress and egress charges driven by replication traffic.

PMC Topologies

A PeerGFS topology consists of sites, brokers, and Agents: brokers are located on sites and Agents connect to a broker within the broker network.

The following diagram depicts the modules within a PMC deployment without the Network of Brokers capability. The installation consists of a single broker, to which all Agents connect, as well as the PMC service itself.

PMC topology without Network of Brokers

The following diagram depicts the modules within a PMC installation running with the Network of Brokers capability. The broker network consists of two brokers: one installed on the same server as the PMC and another installed on a different server. With this topology, Agents can connect to either broker. In addition, the broker installation runs a Topology Service, which is responsible for configuring brokers and reporting their status to the Topology perspective.

PMC topology with Network of Brokers

Topology Examples

Example 1

This topology has a broker on each site (including the one built into the PMC). The benefit of this topology is that data transferred between Agents on the same site is kept local.

Example 2

Agents do not have to be in the same location as a broker. In this topology, Agents are distributed across the US with a broker deployed at the data center on Site2. The advantage of this is that data can be sent among Agents in the US area without impacting Site1, where the PMC is located. This is particularly useful if Site1 is far away from the other sites/Agents, where data transfer is mainly occurring.

Example 3

This topology has a broker on each site, with the PMC located in the cloud. The advantage of this topology is that a broker on each site helps to keeps the data local and allows transfers between Agents to be more direct. In addition, the PMC is kept in a place of resilience with no replication data traffic going through it.

Topology Perspective

The Topology

perspective in the PMC gives customers the ability to view and configure sites and brokers from a single UI view, allowing customers to create paths for Agents to communicate more directly with one another.

Using the Topology

perspective, you can:

  1. Configure brokers and the network connections between them, including failover.
  2. See all deployed brokers and their statuses.
  3. View connected Agents and the broker that they are configured to use.

Accessing the Topology perspective

To open the Topology


  1. Open the PMC client (rich or web).
  2. Check that you have an appropriate license installed (Enterprise or Data Center subscription license) by selecting Licenses from the Help menu, and then verifying that Network of Brokers is enabled in the Licensed Features section.

  3. Next, click the Open Perspective icon in the upper right corner of the PMC client.
  4. In the Open Perspective dialog, select Topology and click Open.
    The Topology perspective appears.  The black icon on the map represents where the PMC is located; white icons indicate where brokers are located.
  5. To return to the primary Jobs perspective, click the Jobs
    icon in the upper right corner of the PMC client.

Adding a Site

Installing a new broker

To install a new broker:

  1. Download the broker installer.
  2. Run the installer and navigate through the installation wizard.

  3. Read and accept the license agreement.

  4. Confirm the location of the installation directory.

  5. Confirm the location of the Start Menu folder.

  6. Finish the installation. If this is a new installation, add the recommended firewall rules if needed.
    All brokers connect to each other on TCP ports 61616 (TCP) or 61617 (TLS); therefore access to these ports is required.

    Once the broker has been installed, you are ready to configure the new site.

Configuring a new site

To configure a new site:

  1. Open the PMC client (rich or web).
  2. From the Topology perspective, click the Add Site button and navigate through the Add Site wizard.
  3. Name the site, drag the icon to the desired location on the topology map, and then click Next.
  4. Configure the general network setting for this site. Enabling TSL will encrypt all broker connections to and from this site.

  5. Configure the brokers for this site.

    1. Enter a host name in the Hostname field.
    2. Select a failover method. When a broker is configured with multiple IP addresses, there are three failover methods that can be utilized:

      • All Primary - All network links are used.
      • Active/Passive - All link have equal priority, but only one will be used at any given time.
      • Primary/Backup - Primary links will be used as a priority, using backup links only when no primary links are connected.

    3. Enter the network links for each broker. The IP addresses are for broker connections only and will not affect Agent connectivity to the broker. When a broker has multiple IP addresses, multiple links can be created.

    4. (Optional) Enter an available bandwidth. The available bandwidth is not required, but when supplied, connections between this broker and other brokers will be optimized to try to achieve this performance.

    Note: Make sure that network routing policies are correct for the desired behavior. PeerGFS has no control over this; please contact the network administrator for assistance.

  6. Click Finish.

  7. If you want to continue adding more sites, click OK in the Add Site dialog, and repeat Steps 2-6; otherwise, click Cancel.

  8. Once you have added all of the sites, the new offline site will be listed in the Sites view.

  9. Continue with pushing broker configurations.

    You must add all of your sites before you push the broker configurations.

Pushing Broker Configurations

After adding a new site, the status of all existing sites and brokers will change; they will need to be reconfigured to connect to the new site. Once all new sites and brokers have been added to the topology, configurations can be pushed to each broker.

To push a broker configuration:

  1. Select a site in the Sites view.
  2. Click the Push Configurations button in the upper right corner.

  3. Repeat for each site, including previously existing sites.

Viewing Connected Agents

When a broker is online, Agents configured to connect to it are displayed in the Details view in the Topology perspective.

To view the Agents connected to a broker: 

  1. Select a site in the Sites view.
    Agents connected to that broker appear in the Configured Agents section of the Details view.
    Note that the failover status of an Agent is not displayed.

Changing Agent Connections to Point to New Broker

After creating additional sites and brokers within the PMC topology, you can reconfigure existing Agent connections to point to the new broker.

  1. Open the Jobs
    perspective in the PMC client.
  2. Select all the Agents to reconfigure and then select Edit Agent Configuration on Selected Agents.

    The Broker Configuration dialog appears.

  3. In the Primary Brokers section, enter the newly added broker IP address or DNS name in the Broker Hosts field.
  4. In the Failover Brokers section, add the IP address or DNS of the PMC server in the Broker Hosts field.
  5. Restart the modified Agents by selecting all of the modified ones in the Agents view, right-clicking, and then selecting Restart Agent Service

Manually Pushing a Broker Configuration

If it is not possible to remotely push a broker configuration (due to firewall restrictions), you can manually download the configuration file and copy it to the broker host.

To manually configure a broker:

  1. Click the Download Configuration button and save the .xml file.

  2. Copy the saved file to the broker host in the directory <BrokerInstallLocation>/Broker/conf/activemq.xml.
  3. Using the OS service manager, restart the Peer Management Broker Service/PL-Broker service.

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