[Linux-cluster] Cluster among geographically separated nodes ?

Tom Lanyon tom at netspot.com.au
Fri Jun 19 02:47:59 UTC 2009

On 18/06/2009, at 9:42 PM, Gordan Bobic wrote:

> On Thu, 18 Jun 2009 17:11:42 +0530, Brahadambal Srinivasan
> <brahadambal at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2. Fencing - any special methods to fence ?
> Just be aware that if your site interconnect goes down, you'll end  
> up with
> a hung cluster, since the nodes will disconnect and be unable to  
> fence each
> other. You could offset that by having separate cluster and fencing
> interconnects, but you would also need to look into quorum - you  
> need n/2+1
> nodes for quorum, so to make this work sensibly you'd need at least  
> three
> sites - otherwise if you lose the bigger site you lose the whole  
> cluster
> anyway.

This question came up last week as well so I have been thinking about  
the options here. Gordan's suggestion of three sites is a good one but  
may not be feasible for some.

If you are using replicated SAN LUN(s) for your shared storage, the  
LUN is only ever going to be active at one site. So, if you lose  
connectivity between sites you obviously want the cluster to remain  
operational at the site with the active storage LUN. I can imagine a  
cross-site accessible qdisk *almost* solving this problem.

The remaining issue, as I see it, is that if your network connectivity  
is lost the cluster will pause all services until it has successfully  
removed the failed nodes -- if it can't fence these nodes due to the  
lost network connectivity, you may end up with a site that effectively  
has quorum but all services are still hung. This sort of issue would  
especially arise if, for example, you lost ethernet connectivity but  
not FC/storage connectivity - the nodes at the remote site would still  
be able to access the qdisk. Perhaps a combination of power fencing  
(via ethernet) + storage fencing (on the local side of the SAN) could  
make this a workable solution?


Tom Lanyon
Senior Systems Engineer
NetSpot Pty Ltd

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