[Drbd-dev] DRBD8: Split-brain false positive on Primary/primary potential patch

Graham, Simon Simon.Graham at stratus.com
Thu Nov 16 13:52:14 CET 2006

Not sure I agree that the current behavior is protecting users from themselves -- it only causes the split-brain if you lose the n/w and during 'normal' operation and there is nothing that protects against mounting a 1-node fs on both nodes of a primary-primary DRBD cluster.

Running primary-secondary doesn't work if you are in a situation where it is not possible to switch primaryness when failing over; a good example of that is if you want to run a Xen virtual machine on top of a DRBD partition and support live migration of the VM (the problem is that Xen doesn't provide the means to execute a script to change primaryness at the required point in the migration). Of course you could argue that this is a Xen bug _but_ pragmatically, the proposed patch to delay updating the UUID until an actual write occurs preserves (I believe) correctness in DRBD and works without introducing new features into Xen.

Recovering from split-brain automatically is of course something that is incredibly valuable but I think it can be treated orthogonally to the proposed fix.


-----Original Message-----
From: Philipp Reisner [mailto:philipp.reisner at linbit.com] 
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:10 AM
To: drbd-dev at linbit.com
Cc: Montrose, Ernest; Graham, Simon
Subject: Re: [Drbd-dev] DRBD8: Split-brain false positive on Primary/primary potential patch

Am Dienstag, 7. November 2006 00:47 schrieb Montrose, Ernest:
> When running Primary/Primary if the Heartbeat connection goes down when
> we recover we always split brain.  Simon had an idea which I have
> implemented. He is on vacation  so this may not reflect his exact idea.
> Essentially with this change, we do not create a new current UUID on the
> node unless I/O is seen. This prevent Split-Brain mitigation when both
> nodes are primary but only one node is originating I/O and never the
> other.  He is only stand-by in that case.
> Take a look and let me know.

Hi Ernest,

I understand your reasoning, I see the patch, which I guess does 
what you expect of it.

I do not want to do it that way for the following reasons:

 * It is only applicable in case you are using a 1-node filesystem
   on a primary-primary DRBD cluster.

   * I do not want users to do this. Because with this setup it is
     easily possible to mount the FS on both nodes concurrently.
     I want to protect the from themselfs ;)

   * Users using a 1-node filesystem should use DRBD withe 
     primary and secondary role.

 * I rather want to fix DRBD's split brain recovery methods to deal
   with a cluster crash of a primary-primary cluster (actually this
   is item 41 in the ROADMAP file)

I have a few hours time today, I will work on this today... 

: Dipl-Ing Philipp Reisner                      Tel +43-1-8178292-50 :
: LINBIT Information Technologies GmbH          Fax +43-1-8178292-82 :
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