[Gluster-users] how well will this work

Miles Fidelman mfidelman at meetinghouse.net
Thu Dec 27 09:55:07 UTC 2012

Joe Julian wrote:
> It would probably be better to ask this with end-goal questions 
> instead of with a unspecified "critical feature" list and "performance 
> problems".

Ok... I'm running a 2-node cluster that's essentially a mini cloud stack 
- with storage and processing combined on the same boxes.  I'm running a 
production VM that hosts a mail server, list server, web server, and 
database; another production VM providing a backup server for the 
cluster and for a bunch of desktop machines; and several VMs used for a 
variety of development and testing purposes. It's all backed by a 
storage stack consisting of linux raid10 -> lvm -> drbd, and uses 
pacemaker for high-availability failover of the production VMs.  It all 
performs reasonably well under moderate load (mail flows, web servers 
respond, database transactions complete, without notable user-level 
delays; queues don't back up; cpu and io loads stay within reasonable 

The goals are to:
- add storage and processing capacity by adding two more nodes - each 
consisting of several CPU cores and 4 disks each
- maintain the flexibility to create/delete/migrate/failover virtual 
machines - across 4 nodes instead of 2
- avoid having to play games with pairwise DRBD configurations by moving 
to a clustered filesystem
- in essence, I'm looking to do what Sheepdog purports to do, except in 
a Xen environment

Earlier versions of gluster had reported problems with:
- supporting databases
- supporting VMs
- locking and performance problems during disk rebuilds
- and... most of the gluster documentation implies that it's preferable 
to separate storage nodes from processing nodes

It looks like Gluster 3.2 and 3.3 have addressed some of these issues, 
and I'm trying to get a general read on whether it's worth putting in 
the effort of moving forward with some experimentation, or whether this 
is a non-starter.  Is there anyone out there who's tried to run this 
kind of mini-cloud with gluster?  What kind of results have you had?

> On 12/26/2012 08:24 PM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
>> Hi Folks,
>> I find myself trying to expand a 2-node high-availability cluster 
>> from to a 4-node cluster.  I'm running Xen virtualization, and 
>> currently using DRBD to mirror data, and pacemaker to failover cleanly.
>> The thing is, I'm trying to add 2 nodes to the cluster, and DRBD 
>> doesn't scale.  Also, as a function of rackspace limits, and the 
>> hardware at hand, I can't separate storage nodes from compute nodes - 
>> instead, I have to live with 4 nodes, each with 4 large drives (but 
>> also w/ 4 gigE ports per server).
>> The obvious thought is to use Gluster to assemble all the drives into 
>> one large storage pool, with replication.  But.. last time I looked 
>> at this (6 months or so back), it looked like some of the critical 
>> features were brand new, and performance seemed to be a problem in 
>> the configuration I'm thinking of.
>> Which leads me to my question:  Has the situation improved to the 
>> point that I can use Gluster this way?
>> Thanks very much,
>> Miles Fidelman
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In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra

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