[SATLUG] evms command line...

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Tue Sep 8 10:45:10 CDT 2009

Sorry for the latency (congestion occurred) but:

On Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 03:09, Enrique Sanchez <
esanchezvela.satlug at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Aug 30, 2009 at 11:09 AM, John Pappas<j at jvpappas.net> wrote:
> >
> > Define cluster.  Are you using a cluster file system (GFS, Lustre, OCFS,
> > CXFS), or a standard cluster where the disks are shared, but only one
> mounts
> > at a time
> We need to provide highly available application and database servers,
> the database servers will be using Oracle RAC using ocfs2

Ok, so native LVM cannot be used due to Cluster locking issues (Standard LVM
has a single system lock setup), and I am not sure if CLVM (Cluster LVM) is
multi-active capable (Reading...)

> and the application servers would be present on one node at a time, if
> the node fails the application server must be restarted on the
> surviving node ( including the IP address and filesystems), thus, the
> filesystems can be mounted on both servers at the same time or one at
> a time.

I assume that the Active/Passive Application server setup is due to lack of
a load balancer or session persistence, regardless CLVM is certainly
acceptable for active-passive (quorum controlled resource) clusters, as only
one node is expected to own the resource at a time.  I am thinking that
standard LVM can be used via import/export scripts in the failover policy.

if the standard LVM manager can be used to mount the filesystems on
> one server at a time and import them on the surviving one, I'll throw
> evms out of the window, however, it can not be used, as I found out,
> to create ocfs2 filesystems mounted on both servers.

I am not sure which "it cannot be used" references, but LVM does not care
what filesystem is on a LV, and EVMS requires a "plug-in" so that it can
call the appropriate `mkfs.x` to format the created ELV.

> I need to group disks into larger units (cluster aware) then slice
> them into filesystems, the disks are EMC shares 8.43 GB and
> filesystems can be any size.

I am not sure how OCFS2 reacts to LVM, but RAC uses multiple-instance,
single-tablespace to allow Active/Active clustering with shared data.  CLVM
would then have to allow multiple node VG import for this to work.  URL
below infers that multiple node VG access is allowed, but it is unclear, so
more reading needed.

AFAIK most cluster software allows for the definition of a resource group
that includes the physical disks included in that group.   RAC
nonwithstanding, is that the case here?  If so, I would guess that "best
practice" would be to define and maintain the grouping there.  If not, LVM
presumes similar physical disks, since a VG takes all disk blocks on all PVs
and groups them into a pool of shared extents.  I am getting the feeling
that your "grouping" need is not LVM style management.

> >> check the "it could be
> >> possible" part, the evmsgui seems to do the job just fine but I need
> >> to work with 20 to 30 disks per cluster, with different sizes and raid
> >> levels, so it is just not feasible to get the job done with the GUI,
> >> besides, I hate GUIs.

I assume that the RAID levels are being defined on the array, so the OS has
no visibility (nor interest really) to the RAID levels (unless
PowerPath/NavCLI) are installed on the nodes involved.  Even then, grouping
dis-similar RAID PVs in a VG is not a fantastic idea.  The inferred
assumption is that the creation of a VG implicitly shares all PVs therein as
a shared pool, and LVs can be cut from any/all of them without regard to the
underlying PVs.  This does not seem to be the grouping strategy for which
you are aiming.  Many shops use "custom" config files and wrappers that
"group" disks when there is not a classical cluster management tool involved
to handle the resource groups.

> > I assume that you are using a shared storage backend here (FibreChannel,
> > Switched SAS, etc), as "Disks" don't have RAID levels, where LUNs do.
> We're using shared FC Storage (visible by both servers).

That makes sense, AFAIK RAC (and most standard cluster types) requires
shared block storage (FC/iSCSI/etc) most do not function well with shared
file-level (NFS or similar) due to the locking mechanisms involved.

> >> The only problem is that I've been having more than the fun I
> >> bargained for with the CLI as it seems to have a mind of its own. has
> >> anyone successfully worked with the CLI that can provide a good
> >> reference point to work with it?   so far, I've found a couple of EVMS
> >> user guides but their information on the command line is very limited.
> >
> >
> > We just use LVM and the appropriate FS tools to manage the disks,
> granted,
> > you have to often do multiple operator steps (create LV, run mkfs.x;
> where
> > EVMS does that in one step), but finding LVM expertise is MUCH easer than
> > EVMS expertise.
> >
> I think I am familiar enough with Linux LVM to be able to create vgs
> and I am breaking ground with evms, too bad it is dead beyond SLES 10.

Active/Active clusters are complex beasts, and most rely on the cluster
management tool to group cluster resources (Disks, IPs, Names, Services,
Files, etc) together, rather than a subsystem like LVM.

>> Why SUSE and why 10SP2,  because that is what the customer wanted to
> >> use, no bargaining there.
> >>
> >
> > This is like running RHEL 4.x over 5.x, so I assume that they have
> > a dependency (custom software, or the like; or simple politics) that
> > prevents using a new kernel or userspace tool set.
> I know and aware of the situation, however SAP, or Novell,  has not
> certified SAP for SLES11 (or vice versa).

Yep, aforementioned assumed dependency.  In this case, it is a "vendor
support" dependency;  sometimes it is hardware, sometimes software,
sometimes political, but always a "show stopper"


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