[Linux-cluster] Starter Cluster / GFS

Gordan Bobic gordan at bobich.net
Thu Nov 11 17:59:57 UTC 2010

On 11/11/2010 04:48 PM, Digimer wrote:
>>> Clustered storage *requires* fencing. To not use fencing is like driving
>>> tired; It's just a matter of time before something bad happens. That
>>> said, I should have been more clear in specifying the requirement for
>>> fencing.
>>> Now that said, the fencing shouldn't be needed at the SAN side, though
>>> that works fine as well.
>> The default fencing action, last time I checked, is reboot. Consider the
>> use case where you have a network failure and separate networks for
>> various things, and you lose connectivity between the nodes but they
>> both still have access to the SAN. One node gets fenced, reboots, comes
>> up and connects to the SAN. It connects to the quorum device and has
>> quorum without the other nodes, and mounts the file systems and starts
>> writing - while all the other nodes that have become partitioned off do
>> the same thing. Unless you can fence the nodes from the SAN side, quorum
>> device having a 50% weight is a recipe for disaster.
> Agreed, and that is one of the major benefits of qdisk. It prevents a
> 50/50 split. Regardless though, say you have an eight node cluster and
> it partitions evenly with no qdisk to tie break. In that case, neither
> partition has>50% of the votes, so neither should have quorum. In turn,
> neither should touch the SAN.

Exactly - qdisk is a tie-breaker. The point I was responding to was the 
one where somebody suggested giving qdisk a 50% vote weight (i.e. needs 
only qdisk + 1 node for quorum), which is IMO not a sane way to do it.

>> I'm well aware of how fencing works, but you overlooked one major
>> failure mode that is essentially guaranteed to hose your data if you set
>> up the quorum device to have 50% of the votes.
> See above. 50% is not quorum.

No, but 50% + 1 node is quorum, and I'm saying that having qdisk (50%) + 
1 node = quorum is not the way to go.

>>> With SAN-side fencing, a fence is in the form of a logic disconnection
>>> from the storage network. This has no inherent mechanism for recovery,
>>> so the sysadmin will have to manually recover the node(s). For this
>>> reason, I do not prefer it.
>> Then don't use a quorum device with more than an equal weight to the
>> individual nodes.
> How does the number of nodes relate, in this case, to the SAN-side fence
> recovery?

It doesn't directly. I'm saying that the only way that giving qdisk 50% 
of the vote toward quorum is if your fencing is done by the SAN itself. 
Otherwise any 1 node that comes up has quorum, regardless of how many 
other are down, which in turn leads to multiple nodes being individually 
quorate when the connect to the SAN. This situation will trash the 
shared file system.


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