[DRBD-user] Pacemaker cluster with DRBD on ESXI - Fencing on snapshot

Lars Ellenberg lars.ellenberg at linbit.com
Wed Nov 14 13:33:39 CET 2018

On Tue, Nov 13, 2018 at 12:28:54PM +0000, jota at disroot.org wrote:
> Hello all,
> I am experiencing issues with a pacemaker cluster with drbd.
> This is the environment:
> 2 nodes (CentOS 7.5) - VMs on ESXI 6.5
> pcs version 0.9.158
> drbd 8.4
> All nights,I have scheduled a backup with HPE RMC within vSphere. This
> job performs a snapshot of the datastore volume containing the vms,
> and at the same time, through the vmware-tools, performs a snapshot of
> each vm.  This results on a fencing of each master node every night.
> Master node has scheduled the backup at 21:00. When it is fenced, the
> resources goes to the secondary node, that becomes primary. As the
> second node has scheduled the backup at 22:00, at that time it is
> fenced too.  Is it possible (and safe) to increase some timeouts in
> order to avoid this?

This has nothing to do with DRBD.

But with your cluster manager.

Cluster memebership has short timeouts on "responsiveness"
of the nodes. If it declares one node as unresponsive,
it has to kick that node out of the membership.

That is done by fencing.

Snapshots (and snapshot removals, rotating out old ones)
tend to freeze IO, or even the whole VM.

If you freeze something with a "real time" dependend component,
bad things will happen.

Yes, in a virtualized environment you should increase the "deadtime" or
"token timeout" (or whatever your cluster manager of choice calls the
concept) anyways, a few seconds should be ok, unless your
infrastructure is heavily oversubscribed.
(so as an example for pacemaker / corosync in your case,
corosync.conf, totem { token 3000; }

But I've seen these "stalls" take tens of seconds, sometimes up to minutes.
You don't want that latency on your cluster membership.

So you want to tell your backups to *NOT* freeze the VMs.

If the whole thing is "crash safe", that is, can recover from a
hard-crash of a single VM single hypervisor setup, all is good,
it can recover from such a non-frozen snapshot based backup as well.

If it is not "crash safe" in the above sense, then you cannot do
failovers either, and need to go back to the drawing board anyways.

Alternatively, put your cluster in mainenance-mode,
do what you think you have to do,
and put live again after that.

: Lars Ellenberg
: LINBIT | Keeping the Digital World Running
: DRBD -- Heartbeat -- Corosync -- Pacemaker

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