[ClusterLabs] RFC: allowing soft recovery attempts before ignore/block/etc.

Ken Gaillot kgaillot at redhat.com
Tue Oct 4 16:03:09 EDT 2016

On 10/02/2016 10:02 PM, Andrew Beekhof wrote:
>> Take a
>> look at all of nagios' options for deciding when a failure becomes "real".
> I used to take a very hard line on this: if you don't want the cluster
> to do anything about an error, don't tell us about it.
> However I'm slowly changing my position... the reality is that many
> people do want a heads up in advance and we have been forcing that
> policy (when does an error become real) into the agents where one size
> must fit all.
> So I'm now generally in favour of having the PE handle this "somehow".

Nagios is a useful comparison:

check_interval - like pacemaker's monitor interval

retry_interval - if a check returns failure, switch to this interval
(i.e. check more frequently when trying to decide whether it's a "hard"

max_check_attempts - if a check fails this many times in a row, it's a
hard failure. Before this is reached, it's considered a soft failure.
Nagios will call event handlers (comparable to pacemaker's alert agents)
for both soft and hard failures (distinguishing the two). A service is
also considered to have a "hard failure" if its host goes down.

high_flap_threshold/low_flap_threshold - a service is considered to be
flapping when its percent of state changes (ok <-> not ok) in the last
21 checks (= max. 20 state changes) reaches high_flap_threshold, and
stable again once the percentage drops to low_flap_threshold. To put it
another way, a service that passes every monitor is 0% flapping, and a
service that fails every other monitor is 100% flapping. With these,
even if a service never reaches max_check_attempts failures in a row, an
alert can be sent if it's repeatedly failing and recovering.

>> If you clear failures after a success, you can't detect/recover a
>> resource that is flapping.
> Ah, but you can if the thing you're clearing only applies to other
> failures of the same action.
> A completed start doesn't clear a previously failed monitor.

Nope -- a monitor can alternately succeed and fail repeatedly, and that
indicates a problem, but wouldn't trip an "N-failures-in-a-row" system.

>> It only makes sense to escalate from ignore -> restart -> hard, so maybe
>> something like:
>>   op monitor ignore-fail=3 soft-fail=2 on-hard-fail=ban
> I would favour something more concrete than 'soft' and 'hard' here.
> Do they have a sufficiently obvious meaning outside of us developers?
> Perhaps (with or without a "failures-" prefix) :
>    ignore-count
>    recover-count
>    escalation-policy

I think the "soft" vs "hard" terminology is somewhat familiar to
sysadmins -- there's at least nagios, email (SPF failures and bounces),
and ECC RAM. But throwing "ignore" into the mix does confuse things.

How about ... max-fail-ignore=3 max-fail-restart=2 fail-escalation=ban

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