[Gluster-users] GlusterFS problems & alternatives

Strahil Nikolov hunter86_bg at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 12 06:28:24 UTC 2020

On February 12, 2020 12:28:14 AM GMT+02:00, Erik Jacobson <erik.jacobson at hpe.com> wrote:
>> looking through the last couple of week on this mailing list and
>reflecting our own experiences, I have to ask: what is the status of
>GlusterFS? So many people here reporting bugs and no solutions are in
>sight. GlusterFS clusters break left and right, reboots of a node have
>become a warrant for instability and broken clusters, no way to fix
>broken clusters. And all of that with recommended settings, and in our
>case, enterprise hardware underneath.
>I have been one of the people asking questions. I sometimes get an
>answer, which I appreciate. Other times not. But I'm not paying for
>support in this forum so I appreciate what I can get. My questions
>are sometimes very hard to summarize and I can't say I've been offering
>help as much as I ask. I think I will try to do better.
>Just to counter with something cool....
>As we speak now, I'm working on a 2,000 node cluster that will soon be
>5120 node cluster. We're validating it with the newest version of our
>cluster manager.
>It has 12 leader nodes (soon to have 24) that are gluster servers and
>gnfs servers.
>I am validating Gluster7.2 (updating from 4.6). Things are looking very
>good. 5120 nodes using RO NFS root with RW NFS overmounts (for things
>like /var, /etc, ...)...
>- boot 1 (where each node creates a RW XFS image on top of NFS for its
>  writable area then syncs /var, /etc, etc) -- full boot is 15-16
>  minutes for 2007 nodes.
>- boot 2 (where the writable area pre-exists and is reused, just
>  re-rsynced) -- 8-9 minutes to boot 2007 nodes.
>This is similar to gluster 4, but I think it's saying something to not
>have had any failures in this setup on the bleeding edge release level.
>We also use a different volume shared between the leaders and the head
>node for shared-storage consoles and system logs. It's working great.
>I haven't had time to test other solutions. Our old solution from SGI
>days (ICE, ICE X, etc) was a different model where each leader served
>a set of nodes and NFS-booted 288 or so. No shared storage.
>Like you, I've wondered if something else matches this solution. We
>the shared storage and the ability for a leader to drop and not take
>288 noes with it.
>(All nodes running RHEL8.0, Glusterfs 72, CTDB 4.9.1)
>So we can say gluster is providing the network boot solution for now
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Hi Stefan,

It seems that devs are not so active in the mailing lists, but based on my experience the bugs will be fixed in a reasonable timeframe. I admit that I was quite frustrated when my Gluster v6.5  to v6.6 upgrade made my lab useless for 2 weeks  and the only help came from oVirt Dev, while gluster-users/devel were semi-silent.
Yet, I'm not paying for any support and I know that any help here is just a good will.
I hope this has nothing in common with the recent acquisition from IBM, but we will see.

There is a reason why Red Hat clients are still using Gluster v3 (even with backports) - it is the most tested version in Gluster.
For me Gluster v4+ compared  to v3 is like  Fedora  to RHEL. After all, the upstream is not so well tested and Gluster community is taking over here - reporting bugs, sharing workarounds, giving advices .

Of course, if you need rock-solid Gluster environment - you definately need the enterprise solution with it's 24/7 support.

Keep in mind that even the most expensive storage arrays break after an upgrade (it happened 3 times for less than 2 weeks where 2k+ machines were read-only,  before the vendor provided a new patch), so the issues in Gluster are nothing new  and we should not forget that Gluster is free (and doesn't costs millions like some arrays).
The only mitigation is to thoroughly test each patch on a cluster that provides storage for your dev/test clients.

I hope you didn't  understand me wrong - just lower your expectations -> even arrays for millions break , so Gluster is not an exclusion , but at least it's OpenSource and free.

Best Regards,
Strahil Nikolov

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