[Linux-cluster] gfs2_jadd borked my cluster?

Jeff Sturm jeff.sturm at eprize.com
Mon Nov 22 18:03:00 UTC 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-cluster-bounces at redhat.com
[mailto:linux-cluster-bounces at redhat.com]
> On Behalf Of rhurst at bidmc.harvard.edu
> Sent: Monday, November 22, 2010 10:34 AM
> To: linux-cluster at redhat.com
> Subject: Re: [Linux-cluster] gfs2_jadd borked my cluster?
> I suspect a virtio_blk caching issue is causing the problems with GFS2
on KVM guests.
> I read in the RHEL 5.6 (beta) release notes that "a caching issue"
(generically written
> as this) was corrected with the virtio_blk module.  And RHEL 6
declares that GFS2 is a
> supported filesystem no KVM guests -- there is no such written
statement anywhere in
> the RHEL 5 documentation.

Although we don't use KVM or GFS2, I've seen a similar issue.  We had
GFS filesystems periodically withdraw from the cluster, often requiring
a node restart or fsck to fix.

We changed our Xen block devices to use the tap:sync: backend driver and
haven't seen the problem since.  I don't have anything conclusive to
tell you this fixed the problem, but the evidence is there.  Having no
familiarity with KVM I can't tell you what the equivalent of tap:sync:
is, or if one even exists.

We did not stumble across this setting by accident.  Through some
brainstorming, asking ourselves "what's different about 
our virtual clusters and physical clusters", we had guessed that block
caching could be responsible.  If a virtual host completes some I/O and
tells the cluster it is done, it seems intuitive that the I/O must be
complete to guarantee filesystem consistency.   From the virtual host's
perspective the I/O may be done, but the physical host is responsible
for flushing blocks to the actual SAN, and may delay the operation, or
write blocks in a different order than originally intended.

Xen's tap:sync: driver ensures that each block written by the virtual
host is written immediately to the physical device.  


More information about the Linux-cluster mailing list