[Gluster-users] How to set up a 4 way gluster file system

Dave Sherohman dave at sherohman.org
Fri Apr 27 14:30:21 UTC 2018

On Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 07:22:29PM +1200, Thing wrote:
> I have 4 nodes, so a quorum would be 3 of 4.

Nope, gluster doesn't work quite the way you're looking at it.
(Incidentally, I started off with the same expectation that you have.)

When you create a 4-brick replica 2 volume, you don't get a single
cluster with a quorum of 3 out of 4 bricks.  You get two subvolumes,
each of which consists of two mirrored bricks.

Each individual subvolume is susceptible to split-brain if one of the
two bricks in that pair goes down, regardless of how many bricks in
other subvolumes are still up.  Thus, quorum has to be handled on the
subvolume level rather than only being a consideration for the overall
volume as a whole.

One small wrinkle here is that, for calculating quorum, gluster treats
the brick in each pair which was listed first when you created the
volume as "one plus epsilon", so the subvolume will continue to operate
normally if the second brick goes down, but not if the first brick is

The easy solution to this is to switch from replica 2 to replica 2 +
arbiter.  Arbiter bricks don't need to be nearly as large as data bricks
because they store only file metadata, not file contents, so you can
just scrape up a little spare disk space on two of your boxes, call that
space an arbiter, and run with it.  In my case, I have 10T data bricks
and 100G arbiter bricks; I'm using a total of under 1G across all
arbiter bricks for 3T of data in the volume.

Dave Sherohman

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