[Gluster-users] Virtual machines and self-healing on GlusterFS v3.3

Dario Berzano dario.berzano at cern.ch
Fri Sep 14 13:27:32 UTC 2012


  in our computing centre we have an infrastructure with a GlusterFS volume made of two bricks in replicated mode:

Volume Name: VmDir
Type: Replicate
Volume ID: 9aab85df-505c-460a-9e5b-381b1bf3c030
Status: Started
Number of Bricks: 1 x 2 = 2
Transport-type: tcp
Brick1: one-san-01:/bricks/VmDir01
Brick2: one-san-02:/bricks/VmDir02

We are using this volume to store running images of some KVM virtual machines and thought we could benefit from the replicated storage in order to achieve more robustness as well as the ability to live-migrate VMs.

Our GlusterFS volume VmDir is mounted on several (three at the moment) hypervisors.

However, in many cases (but it is difficult to reproduce: best way is to stress VM I/O), either when one brick becomes unavailable for some reason, or when we perform live migrations, virtual machines decide to remount filesystems from their virtual disks in read-only. At the same time, on the hypervisors mounting the GlusterFS partitions, we spot some kernel messages like:

  INFO: task kvm:13560 blocked for more than 120 seconds.

By googling it I have found some "workarounds" to mitigate this problem, like mounting disks within virtual machines with barrier=0:


but I actually fear to damage my virtual machine disks by doing such a thing!

AFAIK from GlusterFS v3.3 self-healing should be performed server-side (and no self-healing at all is performed on the clients and by granularly locking big files). When I connect to my GlusterFS pool, if I monitor the self-healing status continuously:

watch -n1 'gluster volume heal VmDir info'

I obtain an output like:

Heal operation on volume VmDir has been successful

Brick one-san-01:/bricks/VmDir01
Number of entries: 2

Brick one-san-02:/bricks/VmDir02
Number of entries: 2

with a list of virtual machine disks healed by GlusterFS. Those and other files continuously appear and disappear from the list.

This is a behavior I don't understand at all: does this mean that those files continuously get corrupted and healed, and self-healing is just a natural part of the replication process?! Or some kind of corruption is actually happening on our virtual disks for some reason? Is this related to the "remount readonly" problem?

A more general question maybe would be: is GlusterFS v3.3 ready for storing running virtual machines (and is there some special configuration option needed on the volumes and clients for that)?

Thank you in advance for shedding some light...

: Dario Berzano
: CERN PH-SFT & Università di Torino (Italy)
: Wiki: http://newton.ph.unito.it/~berzano
: GPG: http://newton.ph.unito.it/~berzano/gpg
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