[Gluster-users] Is "replica 4 arbiter 1" allowed to tweak client-quorum?

Ravishankar N ravishankar at redhat.com
Wed Apr 3 07:38:27 UTC 2019

On 03/04/19 12:18 PM, Ingo Fischer wrote:
> Hi All,
> I had a replica 2 cluster to host my VM images from my Proxmox cluster.
> I got a bit around split brain scenarios by using "nufa" to make sure
> the files are located on the host where the machine also runs normally.
> So in fact one replica could fail and I still had the VM working.
> But then I thought about doing better and decided to add a node to
> increase replica and I decided against arbiter approach. During this I
> also decided to go away from nufa to make it a more normal approach.
> But in fact by adding the third replica and removing nufa I'm not really
> better on availability - only split-brain-chance. I'm still at the point
> that only one node is allowed to fail because else the now active client
> quorum is no longer met and FS goes read only (which in fact is not
> really better then failing completely as it was before).
> So I thought about adding arbiter bricks as "kind of 4th replica (but
> without space needs) ... but then I read in docs that only "replica 3
> arbiter 1" is allowed as combination. Is this still true?
Yes, this is still true. Slightly off-topic, the 'replica 3 arbiter 1' 
was supposed
to mean there are 3 bricks out of which 1 is an arbiter. This supposedly 
some confusion where people thought there were 4 bricks involved. The 
CLI syntax
was changed in the newer releases to 'replica 2 arbiter 1` to mean there are
2 data bricks and 1 arbiter brick. For backward compatibility, the older 
still works though. The documentation needs to be updated. :-)
> If docs are true: Why arbiter is not allowed for higher replica counts?
The main motivation for the arbiter feature was to solve a specific 
case: people
who wanted to avoid split-brains associated with replica 2 but did not 
want to
add another full blown data brick to make it replica 3 for cost reasons.
> It would allow to improve on client quorum in my understanding.
Agreed but the current implementation is only for a 2+1 configuration.
Perhaps it is something we could work on in the future to make it 
generic like you say.
> Thank you for your opinion and/or facts :-)
I don't think NUFA is being worked on/tested actively. If you can afford 
a 3rd data
brick, making it replica 3 is definitely better than a 2+1 arbiter since 
there is more
availability by virtue of the 3rd brick also storing data. Both of them 
prevent split-brains
and are used successfully by OVirt/ VM storage/ hyperconvergance use cases.
Even without NUFA, for reads, AFR anyway serves it from the local copy 
(writes still need to go to all bricks).

> Ingo

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