[Gluster-devel] Question on choosing source of replica to heal with AFR

Ravishankar N ravishankar at redhat.com
Fri Feb 28 10:28:24 UTC 2014

On 02/28/2014 01:09 PM, Zhang Huan wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM, Ravishankar N 
> <ravishankar at redhat.com <mailto:ravishankar at redhat.com>>wrote:
>     On 02/28/2014 07:28 AM, Zhang Huan wrote:
>>     Hello Ravi,
>>     Thanks for your reply.
>>     Sorry that I have a typo in my mail. It should by "underlying
>>     corruption" instead of "underlying correction".
>>     I guess the logic of eliminating zero byte files from all
>>     innocent nodes is working for preventing underlying corruption to
>>     propagate to other brick. Asked in another way, if the underlying
>>     brick finds some file is corrupted, anything it could do to tell
>>     glusterfs to fix it?
>     Hi Zhang,
>     If all nodes are innocent (from AFR's point of view) ,then AFR
>     cannot  use the changelog attributes to determine which is source.
>     In this case, the safest bet is to mark all zero byte files as
>     sink, so that we don't end up healing in the wrong direction. 
>     Like I said earlier, AFR can only use the changelog attributes
>     (xattrs) to determine the source/sinks. It cannot detect
>     underlying on disk file system corruptions outside the scope of
>     the xattrs.
>     If you are sure that a particular brick is the right source
>     despite the xattrs saying otherwise, you can manually change the
>     attributes of the file on all bricks so that AFR now sees that
>     brick as the source and heals in the expected direction.
>     -Ravi
> Hello Ravi,
> IMO, changing the attributes might be dangerous, since concurrent 
> access with glusterfs is introduced. Not sure if glusterfs has already 
> provided some mechanism for this.
You are right Zhang. My assumption was that the file wouldn't be 
modified from the mount point while you are modifying the xattrs at the 
> My suggestion is to eliminate the zero-byte file from heal source even 
> if is marked as a source. If the underlying filesystem finds some 
> corruption (by scrubbing daemon after checking data checksum), it 
> could truncate it to 0 and let glusterfs to do the healing job.
If there is underlying FS corruption and we need to make gluster aware 
of it, then something like bit rot detection would be the way to go. You 
can find more information about some work in progress on the gluster 
website/ mailing list archives:


> Here is several cases of analysis in my mind.
> 1. If this corrupted file is marked as the only source, then there is 
> no correct replica in the filesystem (actually all are fools), just 
> pick any one as the source to heal is OK;
> 2. If the corrupted file is one of the potential sources, eliminate 
> this one should keep healing in the right direction without further 
> corrupting other correct replicas.
> 3. If the corrupted file is not marked as a source, some other replica 
> will be chosen as a source and this file will be overwritten with 
> correct data.
> 4. If there is no one is marked as clean by attribute, it is quite 
> unlikely this file is chosen as a source as its size is 0. Even it is 
> chosen as a source, there is no further corruption of file content 
> after heal.
> Zhang Huan

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