[Gluster-users] Need advice about optimal configuration for VM hosting.

Ernie Dunbar maillist at lightspeed.ca
Tue Jul 31 18:38:47 UTC 2018

Hi everyone. I need some sage advice for upcoming upgrades we're 
planning for our Gluster array.

I'll start by describing our server cluster:

We currently have 3 Proxmox nodes. Two of them are the workhorses, 
running 12 of our production VMs and a handful of dev VMs that don't see 
the heavy use of the production VMs. The third one is a slower machine 
that mostly acts to tell Proxmox how to avoid split-brain issues, but is 
also running the third Galera node for our database. Galera is actually 
running on the local disks of each Proxmox node because of the 
performance issues we've been having with the Gluster array.

Under that, we have our Gluster array, which currently consists of two 
nodes in a Replicated volume type. Each node has two bricks: one for VMs 
and one for our mail.

The problem is that it's a bit overloaded, mostly thanks the the VM 
traffic. I've got a couple new nodes to throw into that array, but in 
the past, adding a third node killed performance so badly that even 
after the array rebuild, we were looking at a decrease in disk 
performance of about 50%. I'm thinking that adding a fourth node might 
improve things, but that still means waiting for the Gluster array to 
rebuild, suffering the performance degradation of the third node, then 
adding the fourth, suffering the performance degradation of the rebuild 
again, and then... what? See what happens and add more nodes to 
hopefully further improve things?

That doesn't sound like a good strategy to me. There are too many 
questions, and too much hoping things get better.

Another strategy I was thinking of, might be to build a whole new 
Gluster array with the latest version of Gluster. Then, instead of 
suffering the long array rebuild times, we can move VMs one at a time to 
the new Gluster disk. It's more work for me, but probably less pain for 
our customers.

I was thinking that the new array should be 4 nodes in a 
Replicated-Distributed volume type, and after we've moved our data off 
the old array, nuking the old nodes and adding them to the new array. My 
understanding is that we'd have to add new nodes two at a time to ensure 
the replication makes sense to Gluster.

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