Installing Confluence Data Center

This guide covers installing Confluence Data Center, which is a clustered solution, for the first time (with no existing data). 

If you have an existing Confluence instance, see Moving to Confluence Data Center.

1. Clustering requirements and terminology

To run Confluence in a cluster you must:

  • have a clustered license.
  • use an external database.
  • use a load balancer with session affinity in front of the cluster.
  • have a shared directory accessible to all cluster nodes in the same path (this will be your shared home directory)
  • use OAth authentication if you have application links to other Atlassian products (such as JIRA). 

If you need a Data Center evaluation license please contact us.  

In this guide we'll use the following terminology:

  • installation directory - this is the directory where you installed Confluence on a node.
  • local home directory - this is the home or data directory on each node (in non-clustered Confluence this is simply known as the home directory).
  • shared home directory - is is the directory you created that is accessible to all nodes in the cluster via the same path. 

At the end of the installation process you will have an installation and local home directory on each node, and a single shared home directory (5 directories total in a two node cluster). 

2. Install Confluence on the first node

  1. Install Confluence on node 1.
    See Installing Confluence on Windows from Zip File or Installing Confluence on Linux from Archive File for more information. 
  2. Start Confluence on Node 1. The setup wizard will guide you through setting up the first node.  You'll be prompted to enter:
    • your cluster license
    • a name for your cluster
    • the path to the shared home directory you created earlier. 
    • a multicast address (this is automatically generated, or you can choose to enter your own)
    • the network interface Confluence will use to communicate between nodes.

3. Load test the single node

Most Confluence installations do not need to be clustered. You might want to test your single node installation with the number of users and load you expect before going ahead with the additional complexity of clustering.

4. Copy Confluence to second node

To copy Confluence to the second node:

  1. Shut down Confluence on node 1.
  2. Shut down your application server on node 2, or stop it automatically loading web applications.
  3. Copy the installation directory from node 1 to node 2.
  4. Copy the local home directory from node 1 to node 2.
    If the file path of the local home directory is not the same on nodes 1 and 2 you'll need to update the <installation directory>/confluence/WEB-INF/classes/ file on node 2 to point to the correct location.

Copying the local home directory ensures the Confluence search index, the database and cluster configuration, and any other settings are copied to node 2.

5. Start Confluence on the first node, wait, then start Confluence on second node

It's best to start Confluence one server at a time.

  1. Start Confluence on node 1.
  2. Wait for Confluence to become available on node 1.
  3. Start Confluence on node 2.
  4. Wait for Confluence to become available on node 2.

6. Test cluster connectivity

The Cluster Administration page ( > General Configuration > Cluster Configuration) includes information about the active cluster. When the cluster is running properly, this page displays:

  1. a correct count of the nodes in the cluster
  2. a status display for each node in the cluster
  3. uptime for each node.

Screenshot: Cluster Administration page

A simple process to ensure your cluster is working correctly is:

  1. Create a new document on node 1.
  2. Ensure the new document is visible by accessing it directly on node 2.
  3. Search for the new document on node 1, ensure it appears.
  4. Search for the new document on node 2, ensure it appears.

If Confluence detects more than one instance accessing the database but not in a working cluster, it will shut itself down in a cluster panic. This can be fixed by troubleshooting the network connectivity of the cluster.

7. Configure load balancer

Install and configure your load balancer.  You can use the load balancer of your choice, but it needs to support ‘cookie based session affinity’.

You can verify that your load balancer is sending requests correctly to your existing Confluence server by simply accessing Confluence through the load balancer and creating a page then checking that this page can be viewed/edited by another machine through the load balancer.


If you have problems with the above procedure, please see our Cluster Troubleshooting guide.

If you are testing Confluence Data Center by running the cluster on a single machine, please refer to our developer instructions on Starting a Confluence cluster on a single machine.

Upgrading a cluster

It is important that upgrades follow the procedure for Upgrading Confluence Data Center.

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