[DRBD-user] do I really need heartbeat for DRBD?

Mark Watts m.watts at eris.qinetiq.com
Mon Dec 17 14:22:38 CET 2007

Note: "permalinks" may not be as permanent as we would like,
direct links of old sources may well be a few messages off.

On Monday 17 December 2007 12:50:26 Tomasz Chmielewski wrote:
> Is heartbeat really necessary to use DRBD?
> I just want to replicate an array/disk/volume from one datacenter to
> another, but I don't need any heartbeat's features - so perhaps
> heartbeat is not necessary?
> On the other hand, documentation mentions heartbeat a lot.
> Can I use DRBD without heartbeat?

Yes. However heartbeat, when properly configured (which isn't hard), will take 
away some of the management issues from you, such as promoting a device to 
Primary status.

Should you use it without heartbeat? Depends on why you are using DRBD in the 
first place.

Heartbeat will allow you to automagically fail-over to the Secondary node in a 
DRBD cluster, allowing you to continue to provide storage access in the event 
of [certain kinds of] failure.

For example, you can place an IP address, DRBD Filesystem and Apache under the 
control of heartbeat. On failure of the Primary node, those services will 
be "migrated" [started] on the Secondary node (and if properly configured, 
the Primary will be fenced out of existance); thus keeping your website live.


Mark Watts BSc RHCE MBCS
Senior Systems Engineer
QinetiQ Trusted Information Management
Trusted Solutions and Services Group
GPG Key: http://keyserver.veridis.com:11371/search?q=0x455420ED
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