[Gluster-users] GlusterFS performance questions for Amazon EC2 deployment

Craig Box craig.box at gmail.com
Tue Jun 29 16:22:58 UTC 2010

Thanks, that led me to your slightly longer archived posts on the
subject, which helps shed light on the issue.  Quoting from that post:

> The problem with WAN is that when the gluster client receives a request to read
> the file, it first checks with all the nodes in the cluster, to make sure there
> are no discrepancies. Only after all nodes have answered, it will read the
> local file (if it's replicated locally).

Unfortunately that does put us back at square one, where we have to
think of a way to keep the masters in each zone in sync.
Unison/rsync?  Any other suggestions?

On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 5:16 PM, Count Zero <countz at gmail.com> wrote:
> My short (and probably disappointing) answer is that with all my attempts, and weeks trying to research and improve the performance, and asking here on the mailing lists, that I have both failed to make it work over WAN, and that authoritative answers were that "Wan is in the works".
> So for now, until WAN is officially supported, Keep it working within the same zone, and use some other replication method to synchronize the two zones.
> On Jun 29, 2010, at 7:12 PM, Craig Box wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Spent the day reading the docs, blog posts, this mailing list, and
>> lurking on IRC, but still have a few questions to ask.
>> My goal is to implement a cross-availability-zone file system in
>> Amazon EC2, and ensure that even if one server goes down, or is
>> rebooted, all clients can continue, reading from/writing to a
>> secondary server.
>> The primary purpose is to share some data files for running a web site
>> for an open source project - a Mercurial repository and some shared
>> data, such as wiki images - but the main code/images/CSS etc for the
>> site will be stored on each instance and managed by version control.
>> As we have 150GB ephemeral storage (aka instance store, as opposed to
>> EBS) free on each instance, I thought it might be good if we were to
>> use that as the POSIX backend for Gluster, and have a complete copy of
>> the Mercurial repository on each system, with each client using its
>> local brick as the read subvolume for speed.  That way, you don't need
>> to go to the network for reads, which ought to be far more common than
>> writes.
>> We want to have the files available to seven servers, four in one AZ
>> and three in another.
>> I think it best if we maximise client performance, rather than
>> replication speed; if one of our nodes is a few seconds behind, it's
>> not the end of the world, but if it consistently takes a few seconds
>> on every file write, that would be irritating.
>> Some questions which I hope someone can answer:
>> 1. Somewhat obviously, when we turn on replication and introduce a
>> second server, write speed to the volume drops drastically  If we use
>> client-side replication, we can have redundancy in servers.  Does this
>> mean that GlusterFS client blocks, waiting for the client to write to
>> every server?  If we changed to server-side replication, would this
>> background the replication overhead?
>> 2. If we were to use server-side replication, should we use the
>> write-behind translator in the server stack?
>> 3. I was originally using 3.0.2 packaged with Ubuntu 10.04, and have
>> tried upgrading to 3.0.5rc7 (as suggested on this list) for better
>> performance with the quick-read translator, and other fixes.  However,
>> this actually seemed to make write performance *worse*!  Should this
>> be expected?
>> (Our write test is totally scientific *cough*: we cp -a a directory of
>> files onto the mounted volume.)
>> 4. Should I expect a different performance pattern using the instance
>> storage, rather than an EBS volume?  I found this post helpful -
>> http://www.sirgroane.net/2010/03/tuning-glusterfs-for-apache-on-ec2/ -
>> but it talks more about reading files than writing them, and it writes
>> off some translators as not useful because of the way EBS works.
>> 5. Is cluster/replicate even the right answer?  Could we do something
>> with cluster/distribute - is this, in effect, a RAID 10?  It doesn't
>> seem that replicate could possibly scale up to the number of nodes you
>> hear about other people using GlusterFS with.
>> 6. Could we do something crafty where you read directly from the POSIX
>> volume but you do all your writes through GlusterFS?  I see it's
>> unsupported, but I guess that is just because you might get old data
>> by reading the disk, rather than the client.
>> Any advice that anyone can provide is welcome, and my thanks in advance!
>> Regards
>> Craig
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