Cluster Discovery

Cluster Discovery is likely to be deprecated in favour of Platforms in the future.

Cluster discovery helps automation and reduces management overhead (it may even help standardise your setup).

Cluster discovery follows the principle of single source of truth: nodes are looked up directly from the platform they run on, in a provisioning systems or from other forms of inventory solutions.

Administrators only have to manage one list of nodes and Replicante Core can use that information. Combine this with infrastructure as a service solutions and you automatically get datastore monitoring and automation as soon as a new server/instance is created.


Replicante can support a variety of ways to discover clusters from different systems. These are discovery backends.

Each backend has a set of configuration options detailed below, all set under the discovery.backends section.

HTTP Discovery

The HTTP Discovery backend performs HTTP(S) requests to a remote server to fetch clusters.

This discovery backend supports custom HTTP headers and TLS. An optional JSON body and pagination support are also available when POST requests are in use (the default).

HTTP Discovery backends are defined in the discovery.backends.http list. Items in the list have the following attributes:

  • (required) url: The URL to send POST/GET requests to.
  • method: The HTTP method to use. Can be either POST (the default) or GET.
  • body: Optional JSON object to send as the body of POST requests.
  • headers: Map of HTTP Headers to attach to all requests.
  • timeout: Timeout for HTTP requests, in milliseconds (defaults to 30 seconds).
  • tls.ca_cert: Optional path to a PEM certificate to validate the remote HTTPS server certificate.
  • tls.client_cert: Optional path to a PEM certificate to authenticate the client with the remote HTTPS server.

The main power of HTTP Discovery is the flexibility. By implementing simple and small, often stateless, HTTP server you can integrate Replicante Core with any technology or proprietary tool, prototype new discovery solutions, etcetera …

Static Discovery Configuration

Tunable dynamic discovery is needed by advanced users. But very often much simpler static solutions work just fine and require less effort to set up and manage.

This setups are still possible with HTTP Discovery using the GET method and any of the many HTTP static serving solutions such as Apache or NGINX to name a few.

The idea is to:

  1. Write one or more JSON files with the expected format (see example below).
  2. Start an HTTP server using the location of all the JSON files as the web root.
  3. Configure replicante with:
    • A URL like http://your.server:port/path/under/web/root/discovery.json.
    • To use the GET method.

Example JSON file to serve statically:

  "cursor": null,
  "clusters": [{
    "cluster_id": "ID OF THE CLUSTER",
    "nodes": [

Implementing HTTP Discovery servers

Details of the client/server JSON over HTTP protocol are documented in comments in the code that implements HTTP Discovery.

To make sure that any changes to the code are reflected in the documentation the code itself is where the details are documented. You do not need to understand Rust code as all the information you will need is provided in english in the comments in that file.


Replicante Core periodically scans configured backends to detect changes to the set of agents that should be monitored.

The discovery.interval option sets the delay, in seconds, between each scan.

Cluster IDs and Display Names

Within the system, clusters are identified by a unique ID. Cluster IDs are automatically extracted from the datastore if it has such unique ID.

This happens for example:

  • With MongoDB replica sets, which have a configured ID.
  • With Kafka, were the cluster generates a random ID when initialising.

For cases like MongoDB where it is configured or where the datastore does not provide such IDs and they must be set in the agent configuration these IDs have a meaning for operators. For cases like Kafka where the ID is automatically generated by the system these IDs may be problematic for operators to work with.

Replicante supports display names for cases where IDs alone are too confusing. Display names are used in the WebUI to identify and search clusters.

Like cluster IDs, display names must be unique to a single cluster and all agents must report the same cluster ID and display name for nodes in the same cluster.