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3.9. Considerations for Using Quorum Disk

Quorum Disk is a disk-based quorum daemon, qdiskd, that provides supplemental heuristics to determine node fitness. With heuristics you can determine factors that are important to the operation of the node in the event of a network partition. For example, in a four-node cluster with a 3:1 split, ordinarily, the three nodes automatically "win" because of the three-to-one majority. Under those circumstances, the one node is fenced. With qdiskd however, you can set up heuristics that allow the one node to win based on access to a critical resource (for example, a critical network path). If your cluster requires additional methods of determining node health, then you should configure qdiskd to meet those needs.


Configuring qdiskd is not required unless you have special requirements for node health. An example of a special requirement is an "all-but-one" configuration. In an all-but-one configuration, qdiskd is configured to provide enough quorum votes to maintain quorum even though only one node is working.


Overall, heuristics and other qdiskd parameters for your deployment depend on the site environment and special requirements needed. To understand the use of heuristics and other qdiskd parameters, see the qdisk(5) man page. If you require assistance understanding and using qdiskd for your site, contact an authorized Red Hat support representative.
If you need to use qdiskd, you should take into account the following considerations:
Cluster node votes
When using Quorum Disk, each cluster node must have one vote.
CMAN membership timeout value
The qdiskd membership timeout value is automatically configured based on the CMAN membership timeout value (the time a node needs to be unresponsive before CMAN considers that node to be dead, and not a member). qdiskd also performs extra sanity checks to guarantee that it can operate within the CMAN timeout. If you find that you need to reset this value, you must take the following into account:
The CMAN membership timeout value should be at least two times that of the qdiskd membership timeout value. The reason is because the quorum daemon must detect failed nodes on its own, and can take much longer to do so than CMAN. Other site-specific conditions may affect the relationship between the membership timeout values of CMAN and qdiskd. For assistance with adjusting the CMAN membership timeout value, contact an authorized Red Hat support representative.
To ensure reliable fencing when using qdiskd, use power fencing. While other types of fencing can be reliable for clusters not configured with qdiskd, they are not reliable for a cluster configured with qdiskd.
Maximum nodes
A cluster configured with qdiskd supports a maximum of 16 nodes. The reason for the limit is because of scalability; increasing the node count increases the amount of synchronous I/O contention on the shared quorum disk device.
Quorum disk device
A quorum disk device should be a shared block device with concurrent read/write access by all nodes in a cluster. The minimum size of the block device is 10 Megabytes. Examples of shared block devices that can be used by qdiskd are a multi-port SCSI RAID array, a Fibre Channel RAID SAN, or a RAID-configured iSCSI target. You can create a quorum disk device with mkqdisk, the Cluster Quorum Disk Utility. For information about using the utility see the mkqdisk(8) man page.


Using JBOD as a quorum disk is not recommended. A JBOD cannot provide dependable performance and therefore may not allow a node to write to it quickly enough. If a node is unable to write to a quorum disk device quickly enough, the node is falsely evicted from a cluster.