[ClusterLabs] Fencing with a 3-node (1 for quorum only) cluster

Dan Swartzendruber dswartz at druber.com
Thu Aug 4 19:21:43 EDT 2016

On 2016-08-04 19:03, Digimer wrote:
> On 04/08/16 06:56 PM, Dan Swartzendruber wrote:
>> I'm setting up an HA NFS server to serve up storage to a couple of
>> vsphere hosts.  I have a virtual IP, and it depends on a ZFS resource
>> agent which imports or exports a pool.  So far, with stonith disabled,
>> it all works perfectly.  I was dubious about a 2-node solution, so I
>> created a 3rd node which runs as a virtual machine on one of the 
>> hosts.
>> All it is for is quorum.  So, looking at fencing next.  The primary
>> server is a poweredge R905, which has DRAC for fencing.  The backup
>> storage node is a Supermicro X9-SCL-F (with IPMI).  So I would be 
>> using
>> the DRAC agent for the former and the ipmilan for the latter?  I was
>> reading about location constraints, where you tell each instance of 
>> the
>> fencing agent not to run on the node that would be getting fenced.  
>> So,
>> my first thought was to configure the drac agent and tell it not to
>> fence node 1, and configure the ipmilan agent and tell it not to fence
>> node 2.  The thing is, there is no agent available for the quorum 
>> node.
>> Would it make more sense instead to tell the drac agent to only run on
>> node 2, and the ipmilan agent to only run on node 1?  Thanks!
> This is a common mistake.
> Fencing and quorum solve different problems and are not 
> interchangeable.
> In short;
> Fencing is a tool when things go wrong.
> Quorum is a tool when things are working.
> The only impact that having quorum has with regard to fencing is that 
> it
> avoids a scenario when both nodes try to fence each other and the 
> faster
> one wins (which is itself OK). Even then, you can add 'delay=15' the
> node you want to win and it will win is such a case. In the old days, 
> it
> would also prevent a fence loop if you started the cluster on boot and
> comms were down. Now though, you set 'wait_for_all' and you won't get a
> fence loop, so that solves that.
> Said another way; Quorum is optional, fencing is not (people often get
> that backwards).
> As for DRAC vs IPMI, no, they are not two things. In fact, I am pretty
> certain that fence_drac is a symlink to fence_ipmilan. All DRAC is 
> (same
> with iRMC, iLO, RSA, etc) is "IPMI + features". Fundamentally, the 
> fence
> action; rebooting the node, works via the basic IPMI standard using the
> To do proper redundant fencing, which is a great idea, you want
> something like switched PDUs. This is how we do it (with two node
> clusters). IPMI first, and if that fails, a pair of PDUs (one for each
> PSU, each PDU going to independent UPSes) as backup.

Thanks for the quick response.  I didn't mean to give the impression 
that I didn't know the different between quorum and fencing.  The only 
reason I (currently) have the quorum node was to prevent a deathmatch 
(which I had read about elsewhere.)  If it is as simple as adding a 
delay as you describe, I'm inclined to go that route.  At least on 
CentOS7, fence_ipmilan and fence_drac are not the same.  e.g. they are 
both python scripts that are totally different.

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