[Linux-cluster] Fencing problem w/ 2-node VM when a VM host dies

Kelvin Edmison kelvin.edmison at alcatel-lucent.com
Fri Dec 4 14:14:23 UTC 2015

On 12/03/2015 09:31 PM, Digimer wrote:
> On 03/12/15 08:39 PM, Kelvin Edmison wrote:
>> On 12/03/2015 06:14 PM, Digimer wrote:
>>> On 03/12/15 02:19 PM, Kelvin Edmison wrote:
>>>> I am hoping that someone can help me understand the problems I'm having
>>>> with linux clustering for VMs.
>>>> I am clustering 2 VMs on two separate VM hosts, trying to ensure that a
>>>> service is always available.  The hosts and guests are both RHEL 6.7.
>>>> The goal is to have only one of the two VMs running at a time.
>>>> The configuration works when we test/simulate VM deaths and graceful VM
>>>> host shutdowns, and administrative switchovers (i.e. clusvcadm -r ).
>>>> However, when we simulate the sudden isolation of host A (e.g. ifdown
>>>> eth0), two things happen
>>>> 1) the VM on host B does not start, and repeated fence_xvm errors appear
>>>> in the logs on host B
>>>> 2) when the 'failed' node is returned to service, the cman service on
>>>> host B dies.
>>> If the node's host is dead, then there is no way for the survivor to
>>> determine the state of the lost VM node. The cluster is not allowed to
>>> take "no answer" as confirmation of fence success.
>>> If your hosts have IPMI, then you could add fence_ipmilan as a backup
>>> method where, if fence_xvm fails, it moves on and reboots the host
>>> itself.
>> Thank you for the suggestion.  The hosts do have ipmi.  I'll explore it
>> but I'm a little concerned about what it means for the other
>> non-clustered VM workloads that exist on these two servers.
>> Do you have any thoughts as to why host B's cman process is dying when
>> 'host A' returns?
>> Thanks,
>>    Kelvin
> It's not dieing, it's blocking. When a node is lost, dlm blocks until
> fenced tells it that the fence was successful. If fenced can't contact
> the lost node's fence method(s), then it doesn't succeed and dlm stays
> blocked. To anything that uses DLM, like rgmanager, it appears like the
> host is hung but it is by design. The logic is that, as bad as it is to
> hang, it's better than risking a split-brain.
when I said the cman service is dying, I should have further qualified 
it. I mean that the corosync process is no longer running (ps -ef | grep 
corosync does not show it)  and after recovering the failed host A, 
manual intervention (service cman start) was required on host B to 
recover full cluster services.

[root at host2 ~]# for SERVICE in ricci fence_virtd cman rgmanager; do 
printf "%-12s   " $SERVICE; service $SERVICE status; done
ricci          ricci (pid  5469) is running...
fence_virtd    fence_virtd (pid  4862) is running...
cman           Found stale pid file
rgmanager      rgmanager (pid  5366) is running...


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