[Gluster-users] Gluster setup for virtualization cluster

Gionatan Danti g.danti at assyoma.it
Mon Feb 17 19:53:09 UTC 2020

Il 2020-02-17 03:59 Markus Kern ha scritto:
> Greetings!
> I am currently evaluating our options to replace our old mixture of
> IBM SAN storage boxes. This will be a strategic decision for the next
> years.
> One of the solutions I am reviewing is a GlusterFS installation.
> Planned usage:
> - Central NFS server for around 25 systems providing around 400 docker
> containers
> - Central storage for a small VMWare vCenter cluster and a RedHat
> virtualization cluster. In total maybe around 15 machines
> The following requirements ensue from this:
> - Fast storage
> - High availability
> After reading all kind of tutorials and documentation, I came to the
> conclusion that for the expected traffic a "Distributed Replicate
> Volume" is the proper setup.
> Nothing has been purchased but I think about following small setup for
> the beginning (call it PoC):
> 4 x server, each with 8 x 1.8TB 10k SAS disks in a RAID60
> Two 10 GBit interfaces per server: One for communication betweens the
> 4 systems only (separate VLAN), the other one for regular traffic
> between clients and servers.
> Does this all make sense?
> Generally speaking: Is such a setup capable of providing fast enough
> storage for a virtualization cluster?
> Do you have any hints?
> Thanks
> Markus

I evaluated such a setup, but I decided against it when using a small 
number of nodes/brick.

The key reason was bad sync performance even when using ramdisks *and* 
two local bricks (ie: minimal network overhead). You can read more here: 

The interesting thing is that when increasing the number of bricks, 
performance scaled well. So it seems gluster *can* be good at 
virtualization, but it need a large number of bricks (eg: an entire 
server rack or one-brick-for-physical-disk approach). This matches the 
experiences shared by other sysadmin.

Moreover, in order to have efficient resync/healing after a node reboot, 
you need to enable sharding (ie: the virtual disks will be divided in 
many small chunks). I was somewhat unconfortable doing that, as any 
problem with gluster incapable to mount the share would lead to quite 
trickly "file reconstruction puzzle".

So I ended with local storage (and a hot-standby server) rather than 
Gluster. If anyone has some different stories to share, I really am all 


Danti Gionatan
Supporto Tecnico
Assyoma S.r.l. - www.assyoma.it [1]
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