[Gluster-users] gluster, arbiter, thin-arbiter questions

Peter P peter.a.pfeiffer at gmail.com
Fri Apr 21 18:01:32 UTC 2023

Good afternoon,

I am looking for additional information about glusterfs, arbiters and 
thin-arbiters. The current stable release is gluster 11, so I am 
considering that version for deployment. My planned setup is: 4 storage 
servers in distributed + replicated mode.

Server1, server2 : replica 2, arbiter 1
Server3, server4 : replica 2, arbiter 1

Since having replica 2 is not recommended due to split-brains I will 
have an arbiter.

Generic questions:

  * Is arbiter or thin-arbiter recommended in a production, large volume
    storage environment?
  * Is thin arbiter code stable and deployment ready?
  * Arbiter is file based and stores metadata for each file. In this
    scenario I would at least double the default inode count on the
    arbiter server. Thin-arbiter on the other hand is brick based but I
    have not found enough information if its inode usage is as inode
    hungry as the arbiter configuration. I am thinking, it should not be
    as it is brick based. So do I need to increase the inode count when
    using thin-arbiters? If yes, what is recommended?
  * I've read old bug reports reporting that thin arbiter was not ready
    to serve multiple trusted pools. Is this still the case?  I may
    configure multiple trusted pools in the future.
  * I have many linux boxes running different linux distributions and
    releases. Ideally the assortment of boxes would mount the same
    gluster pool/volume. I looked for information about older versions
    of gluster clients running on a range of older distributions
    mounting the most recent gluster 11 pool/volume? Does that work? 
    Can gluster client (version 10, 9, 8, 7, etc.) mount gluster 11
    volume and run without significant issues?  I understand that older
    versions of client will not have the most recent features. Most
    recent features aside, is such configuration supported/stable?

*Thin-arbiter approach:*  If I go with the thin-arbiter configuration I 
will use a 5^th server as this server can be outside of the trusted pool 
and can be shared among multiple trusted pools

Server1, server2: replica 2, thin-arbiter server5
Server3, server4: replica 2, thin-arbiter server5

*Old arbiter approach:*  If I go with the older arbiter configuration, I 
am considering using 2 of the storage servers to act as both replica and 
an arbiter. Is that configuration possible/supported and reasonable?

/Server1/, server2: replica 2, arbiter *server3*
*Server3*, server4: replica 2, arbiter /server1/

In this configuration, I am considering using server3 to be arbiter for 
server{1,2} replica 2,  and using server1 to be arbiter for server{3,4} 
replica 2.


  * Is this a reasonable/recommended configuration?
  * Should the arbiter metadata folder be inside or outside of the volume?
      o In detail. Say server{1,2} replica has 1 brick each
        */gluster/brick1 *with*/gfs1vol1 *as the volume
      o Should the arbiter metadata folder location be:
           /gluster/arbiter/gfs1vol1   (outside of the  volume path) or
        */gfs1vol1/*arbiter1/  (inside the volume path)

Thank you for your thoughts,

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