How can Red Hat assist me in assessing the design of my RHEL High Availability or Resilient Storage cluster?

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Applicable Environments

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with the High Availability or Resilient Storage Add-On

Issue

  • I want an architecture review for my RHEL cluster.
  • Can Red Hat approve my cluster design?
  • What information should I provide to Red Hat in order for them to review my configuration?
  • I need help gaining confidence that my cluster is designed correctly. How can I do that?
  • Is my cluster set up correctly?

Audience for this article

  • Customer organizations seeking to have, or already having, deployments of the RHEL High Availability or Resilient Storage Add On that would like assistance assessing the proposed or existing design of their cluster
  • Red Hat Support Engineers guiding customers through assessing their clusters
  • Red Hat associates that are guiding their customer contacts through Red Hat's support offerings. This may be Technical Account Managers, Solutions Architects, Account Managers, Support Managers, Software Engineers, Product Managers and others involved in ensuring continued success of a customer's High Availability and Resilient Storage deployments
  • Potential Red Hat customers wishing to understand how Red Hat can assist them in achieving success with High Availability and Resilient Storage

Overview

Red Hat's experts in High Availability and Resilient Storage are ready and willing to assist organizations in assessing whether their cluster architecture designs are appropriate and optimal, and in gaining confidence that such deployments will meet their needs now and in the future. Assessing whether such a cluster design is appropriate and will function as needed can present many challenges, as these products come with great flexibility and can be deployed in numerous forms. For these reasons, Red Hat has long offered to be involved in this process with customers and share their expertise and experience along the way.

What to Expect From Support Engagements Focusing on Cluster Design

  • Red Hat's primary goal will be to help customer organizations gain confidence in their own cluster architectures, and assess whether those deployments will meet their goals.

  • Red Hat's experts will customize the process to fit the needs of each situation. To facilitate that, customer organizations should clearly indicate their focus, what their concerns are, and what areas Red Hat can assist with.

  • Red Hat will not provide any formal or official approval, guarantee, or "blessing" regarding a cluster configuration or design. Support engagements of this nature are intended to provide customers with the expertise, experience, and knowledge they need to be confident in their own deployments.

  • It is the responsibility of customer organizations to thoroughly test their deployments to ensure they function correctly, to be aware of and properly apply all relevant Red Hat support policies for the components in use, to keep apprised of Red Hat's published recommendations and alerts about known issues or topics to be aware of, and to monitor the behavior of deployments for any signs of problems or areas for improvement.

  • Red Hat will strive to share knowledge with customers and help them achieve a deep understanding of the RHEL, High Availability, and Resilient Storage products so that they may effectively deploy these products in the way that is best for their organization. To be able to do so effectively for all its customers, Red Hat asks that the guidance shared be disseminated as needed throughout the involved organizations so that knowledge can be used in future deployments without needing Red Hat involvement.

What Information Should I Provide to Red Hat To Receive Help With Cluster Design

Technical Data

Provide sosreports from every node in the cluster. Other data may be requested as needed.

Cluster Information and Status

NOTE: Please do not consider this a questionnaire or template that must be filled out in full and posted to a support case, but rather take these general concepts and questions into consideration while describing in your own words to Red Hat how they can help.

What is your goal for this support engagement?

  • Are you searching for recommendations or design considerations with a particular component in the architecture?
  • Is there a component or feature that you are unfamiliar with and need assistance in configuring?
  • Do you need help understanding how to achieve a particular behavior, configuration, or other goal?
  • Do you wish for Red Hat to check your core cluster configuration for points of concern, supportability issues, or areas for potential improvement?
  • Is there a problem or concern with the behavior or performance of the cluster?

What have you done with this cluster thus far?

  • Have you completed the configuration and are now seeking to validate it, or is it still being developed and is subject to change?
  • How thoroughly has the cluster been utilized, exercised, or tested? Are there any behaviors or results that have come up that are cause for concern or discussion?
  • If the cluster has not been put under intensive load or conditions that represent the worst-case-scenarios it should withstand, do you have the ability to exercise such conditions?

What plans do you have for this cluster?

  • What use cases or functions does this cluster serve for your organization?
  • Are there particular failure scenarios that the cluster must specifically withstand?
  • Will there be any expansion of size or capabilities in the future of this cluster?

How Will Red Hat Assist Me?

The process will vary for each engagement, and depending on your needs, the specialist working with you may take different approaches. In general, most engagements will include the following:

  • Red Hat will have a High Availability and Resilient Storage specialist review the core cluster configurations in place, covering (where applicable) /etc/corosync/corosync.conf, /etc/cluster/cluster.conf, the pacemaker CIB, /etc/sysconfig files for cluster daemons, and similar locations related to the components in focus. This review will seek to identify any settings or configurations that conflict with Red Hat support policies, that raise concerns about stability or performance, that may require improvement for optimal configuration, or that otherwise might conflict with the goals or expectations of the customer organization.

  • Red Hat will seek to confirm whether the cluster has been thoroughly exercised to a level of providing confidence that it demonstrates the expected behaviors and will meet the needs it must serve. If such testing and exercising is not complete, Red Hat will produce recommendations and/or instructions, and may seek to engage in remote support sessions to walk through important testing concepts together with the customer.

  • Red Hat will try to identify any remaining areas that may need to be discussed or explored with the customer, such as achieving future plans or expansions, considering special scenarios or events that may not have yet been covered such as maintenance procedures or datacenter failures, backup and disaster recovery strategies, and more.

  • With any specific question or topic that arises that may require continued discussion or engagement, Red Hat will seek to spawn a dedicated support case so that the best experts for each topic can be engaged and multiple investigations or discussions can progress in parallel.

  • If at any point there is a desire for Red Hat's experts to engage directly via phone or remote session with the experts and relevant personnel in the customer organization to further explore the capabilities of the product, talk through design considerations, consider what the best approach for a cluster design is, or more, then a request for such engagement can be put forward in the case and, if availability of resources allow, Red Hat will attempt to participate in these activities.

The end goal for the case will be to leave the customer satisfied that their cluster design is sufficient for their needs and that they have considered all of Red Hat's guidance and recommendations for a successful cluster. When no more questions or concerns exist, the case may be marked complete and archived.

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