[ClusterLabs] Antw: Doing reload right

Jan Pokorný jpokorny at redhat.com
Fri Jul 1 05:48:28 EDT 2016

On 01/07/16 09:23 +0200, Ulrich Windl wrote:
>>>> Ken Gaillot <kgaillot at redhat.com> schrieb am 30.06.2016 um 18:58 in Nachricht
> <57754F9F.8070908 at redhat.com>:
>> I've been meaning to address the implementation of "reload" in Pacemaker
>> for a while now, and I think the next release will be a good time, as it
>> seems to be coming up more frequently.
>> In the current implementation, Pacemaker considers a resource parameter
>> "reloadable" if the resource agent supports the "reload" action, and the
>> agent's metadata marks the parameter with "unique=0". If (only) such
>> parameters get changed in the resource's pacemaker configuration,
>> pacemaker will call the agent's reload action rather than the
>> stop-then-start it usually does for parameter changes.
>> This is completely broken for two reasons:
> I agree ;-)
>> 1. It relies on "unique=0" to determine reloadability. "unique" was
>> originally intended (and is widely used by existing resource agents) as
>> a hint to UIs to indicate which parameters uniquely determine a resource
>> instance. That is, two resource instances should never have the same
>> value of a "unique" parameter. For this purpose, it makes perfect sense
>> that (for example) the path to a binary command would have unique=0 --
>> multiple resource instances could (and likely would) use the same
>> binary. However, such a parameter could never be reloadable.
> I tought unique=0 were reloadable (unique=1 were not)...

I see a doubly-distorted picture here:
- actually "unique=1" on a RA parameter (together with this RA supporting
  "reload") currently leads to reload-on-change
- also the provided example shows why reload for "unique=0" is wrong,
  but as the opposite applies as of current state, it's not an argument
  why something is broken

See also:

>> 2. Every known resource agent that implements a reload action does so
>> incorrectly. Pacemaker uses reload for changes in the resource's
>> *pacemaker* configuration, while all known RAs use reload for a
>> service's native reload capability of its own configuration file. As an
>> example, the ocf:heartbeat:named RA calls "rndc reload" for its reload
>> action, which will have zero effect on any pacemaker-configured
>> parameters -- and on top of that, the RA uses "unique=0" in its correct
>> UI sense, and none of those parameters are actually reloadable.

(per the last subclause, applicable also, after mentioned inversion, for
"unique=1", such as a pid file path, which cannot be reloadable for
apparent reason)

> Maybe LSB confusion...

That's not entirely fair vindication, as when you have to do some
extra actions with parameters in LSB-aliased "start" action in the
RA, you should do such reflections also for "reload".

>> My proposed solution is:
>> * Add a new "reloadable" attribute for resource agent metadata, to
>> indicate reloadable parameters. Pacemaker would use this instead of
>> "unique".
> No objections if you change the XML metadata version number this time ;-)

Good point, but I guess everyone's a bit scared to open this Pandora
box as there's so much technical debt connected to that (unifying FA/RA
metadata if possible, adding new UI-oriented annotations, pacemaker's
silent additions like "private" parameter).
I'd imagine an established authority for OCF matters (and maintaing
https://github.com/ClusterLabs/OCF-spec) and at least partly formalized
process inspired by Python PEPs for coordinated development:


>> * Add a new "reload-options" RA action for the ability to reload
>> Pacemaker-configured options. Pacemaker would call this instead if "reload".
> Why not "reload-parameters"?

That came to my mind as well.  Or not wasting time/space on too many
letters, just "reload-params", perhaps.


>> * Formalize that "reload" means reload the service's own configuration,
>> legitimizing the most common existing RA implementations. (Pacemaker
>> itself will not use this, but tools such as crm_resource might.)
> Maybe be precise what your "reload-options" is expected to do,
> compared to the "reload" action.  I'm still a bit confused. Maybe a
> working example...

IIUIC, reload-options should first reflect the parameters as when
"start" is invoked, then delegate the responsibility to something
that triggers as native reload as possible (which was mentioned
is commonly [and problematically] implemented directly in current
"reload" actions of common RAs).

>> * Review all ocf:pacemaker and ocf:heartbeat agents to make sure they
>> use unique, reloadable, reload, and reload-options properly.
>> The downside is that this breaks backward compatibility. Any RA that
>> actually implements unique and reload so that reload works will lose
>> reload capability until it is updated to the new style.
> Maybe there's a solution that is even simpler: Keep the action name,
> but don't use "relaod" unless the RA indicated at least one
> "reloadable" parameter. Naturally old RAs don't do it. And once an
> author touches the RA to fix thing, he/she should do so (not just
> adding "reloadable" to the metadata).

IMHO, idea worth pursuing

>> While we usually go to great lengths to preserve backward compatibility,
>> I think it is OK to break it in this case, because most RAs that
>> implement reload do so wrongly: some implement it as a service reload, a
>> few advertise reload but don't actually implement it, and others map
>> reload to start, which might theoretically work in some cases (I'm not
>> familiar enough with iSCSILogicalUnit and iSCSITarget to be sure), but
>> typically won't, as the previous service options are not reverted (for
>> example, I think Route would incorrectly leave the old route in the old
>> table).
>> So, I think breaking backward compatibility is actually a good thing
>> here, since the most reload can do with existing RAs is trigger bad
>> behavior.
> See my comment above.
>> The opposing view would be that we shouldn't punish any RA writer who
>> implemented this correctly. However, there's no solution that preserves
> The software could give a warning if the RA provides "reload", but
> does not define any reloadble parameter. So to notify users and
> developers that some change is needed.
>> backward compatibility with both UI usage of unique and reload usage of
>> unique. Plus, the worst that would happen is that the RA would stop
>> being reloadable -- not as bad as the current possibilities from
>> mis-implemented reload.
> Agree on that.
>> My questions are:
>> Does anyone know of an RA that uses reload correctly? Dummy doesn't
>> count ;-)
> Revalidation by the RA authors (and adding "reloadable" attribute to
> metadata parameters) ;-)
>> Does anyone object to the (backward-incompatible) solution proposed here?
> I commented inline.

Jan (Poki)
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