Scaling and Rebalancing a Couchbase Cluster using CLI

Couchbase provides high availability and disaster recovery in several ways:

  • Homogenous cluster
  • Replication
    • Intra-cluster replication
    • Cross-data center replication (XDCR)
  • Backup and restore
  • Rack zone awareness

This blog will show how to create a Couchbase cluster using Couchbase Command Line Interface (CLI). In addition, these steps can also be performed using the Couchbase REST API and the Couchbase Web Console.


Couchbase nodes in a cluster are homogeneous. Applications can write to any node and read from any node. There is no write-to-master and read-from-slave architecture that inherently gives you scalability problems. This allows the Couchbase cluster to truly scale horizontally to meet your growing application demands.

Creating a Couchbase cluster involves the following steps:

  • Provision Couchbase: Provision 1 or more Couchbase nodes, say on Amazon Web Services
  • Initialize master: Initialize any node to be the “master” of the cluster by calling cluster-init CLI command
  • Create cluster: For all other nodes, create a cluster by invoking the server-add CLI command
  • Rebalance cluster: Finally, rebalance the cluster by calling the rebalance CLI command

Provision Couchbase

Provision a Couchbase node on Amazon:

Security group name is explained in Couchbase Cluster on Amazon using CLI.

Let’s call this node as “master”.

Initialize Couchbase “master”

Configure the “master” instance and initialize the cluster:

Create another instance, lets call it “worker”. Note, this is not a master/slave architecture. Couchbase cluster is homogenous where any node in the cluster can be “master”.

Create Couchbase Cluster

Add this newly created “worker” instance to the cluster:

Typically, you’ll create and add multiple nodes to the cluster before rebalancing.

Rebalance Couchbase Cluster

Rebalance the cluster:

Now, you can create as many instances and easy include them in the cluster.

Adding a single node and rebalancing the cluster can be easily done as a single step:

Now, your cluster is accessible at http://<master-ip>:8091 or http://<worker-ip>:8091.

Further references …

  • Couchbase Server Developer Portal
  • Hello Couchbase Example
  • Couchbase CLI
  • Questions on StackOverflow, Forums or Slack Channel
  • Follow us @couchbasedev
  • Couchbase 4.5 Beta



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