Monday, November 17, 2014

Testing GlusterFS with very fast disks on Fedora 20

In the past I used to test with RAM-disks, provided by /dev/ram*. Gluster uses extended attributes on the filesystem, that makes is not possible to use tmpfs. While thinking about improving some of the GlusterFS regression tests, I noticed that Fedora 20 (and possibly earlier versions too) does not provide the /dev/ram* devices anymore. I could not find the needed kernel module quickly, so I decided to look into the newer zram module.

Getting zram working seems to be pretty simple. By default one /dev/zram0 is made available after loading the module. But, if needed, the module offers a parameter num_devices to create more devices. After loading the module with modprobe zram, you can do the following to create your high-performance volatile storage:

# SIZE_2GB=$(expr 1024 \* 1024 \* 1024 \* 2)
# echo ${SIZE_2GB} > /sys/class/block/zram0/disksize
# mkfs -t xfs /dev/zram0
# mkdir /bricks/fast
# mount /dev/zram0 /bricks/fast

With this mountpoint it is now possible to create a Gluster volume:

# gluster volume create fast ${HOSTNAME}:/bricks/fast/data
# gluster volume start fast

Once done with testing, stop and delete the Gluster volume, and free the zram like this:

# umount /bricks/fast
# echo 1 > /sys/class/block/zram0/reset

Of course, unloading the module with rmmod zram would free the resources too.

It is getting more important for Gluster to be prepared for very fast disks. Hardware like Fusion-io Flash drives and in future Persistent Memory/NVM will get more available in storage clouds, and of course we would like to see Gluster staying part of that!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Installing GlusterFS 3.4.x, 3.5.x or 3.6.0 on RHEL or CentOS 6.6

With the release of RHEL-6.6 and CentOS-6.6, there are now glusterfs packages in the standard channels/repositories. Unfortunately, these are only the client-side packages (like glusterfs-fuse and glusterfs-api). Users that want to run a Gluster Server on a current RHEL or CentOS now have difficulties installing any of todays current version of the Gluster Community packages.

The most prominent issue is that the glusterfs package from RHEL has a version of, and that is higher than the last week released version of 3.6.0. RHEL is shipping a pre-release that was created while the Gluster Community was still developing 3.6. An unfortunate packaging decision added a .28 to the version, where most other pre-releases would fall-back to a (rpm-)version like 3.6.0-0.1.something.bla.el6. The difference might look minor, but the result is a major disruption in the much anticipated 3.6 community release.

For the immediate need to fix this in a most easy way for our community users, we have decided to release version 3.6.1 later this week (maybe on Thursday November 6). This version is higher than the version in RHEL/CentOS, and therefore yum will prefer the package from the community repository over the one available in RHEL/CentOS. This is also the main reason why there have been no 3.6.0 packages provided on the download server.

Installing an older stable release (like 3.4 or 3.5) on RHEL/CentOS 6.6 requires a different approach. At the moment we can offer two solutions that can be used. We are still working on making this easier, until that is finalized, some manual actions are required.

Lets assume you want to verify if todays announced glusterfs-3.5.3beta2 packages indeed fix that bug you reported. (These steps apply to the other versions as well, this just happens to be what I have been testing.)

Option A: use exclude in the yum repository files for RHEL/CentOS

  1. download the glusterfs-353beta2-epel.repo file and save it under /etc/yum.repos.d/

  2. edit /etc/yum.repos.d/redhat.repo or /etc/yum.repos.d/CentOS-Base.repo and under each repository that you find, add the following line


This prevents yum from installing the glusterfs* packages from the standard RHEL/CentOS repositories, but allows those packages from others. The Red Hat Customer Portal has an article about this configuration too.

Option B: install and configure yum-plugin-priorities

Using yum-plugin-priorities is probably a more stable solution. This does not require changes to the standard RHEL/CentOS repositories. However, an additional package needs to get installed.

  1. enable the optional repository when on RHEL, CentOS users can skip this step

    # subscription-manager repos --list | grep optional-rpms
        # subscription-manager repos --enable=*optional-rpms

  2. install the yum-plugin-priorities package:

    # yum install yum-plugin-priorities

  3. download the glusterfs-353beta2-epel.repo file and save it under /etc/yum.repos.d/

  4. edit the /etc/yum.repos.d/glusterfs-353beta2-epel.repo file and add the following option to each repository definition:


The default priority for repositories is 99. The repositories with the lowest number have the highest priority. As long as the RHEL/CentOS repositories do not have the priority option set, the packages from the glusterfs-353beta2-epel.repo will get preferred by yum.

When using the yum-plugin-priorities approach, we highly recommend that you check if all your repositories have a suitable (or missing) priority option. In case some repositories have the option set, but yum-plugin-priorities was not installed yet, the order of the repositories might have changed. Because of this, we do not want to force using yum-plugin-priorities on all the Gluster Community users that run on RHEL/CentOS.

In case users still have issues installing the Gluster Community packages on RHEL or CentOS, we recommend getting in touch with us on the Gluster Users mailinglist (archive) or in the #gluster IRC channel on Freenode.

GlusterFS 3.5.3beta2 is now available for testing

Even though GlusterFS 3.6.0 has been released last week, the 3.5 stable series continues to live on! The 2nd beta for GlusterFS 3.5.3 is now available for testing. Many bugs have been fixed since the 3.5.2 release, check the references below for details.

Bug reporters are encouraged to verify the fixes, and we invite others to test this beta to check if there are no regressions. Please see the announcement email for further information. When the release proves to be stable, a final 3.5.3 will be made available in a week or so.

Packages for different distributions can be found on the main download server.

Release Notes for GlusterFS 3.5.3

This is a bugfix release. The Release Notes for 3.5.0, 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 contain a listing of all the new features that were added and bugs fixed in the GlusterFS 3.5 stable release.

Bugs Fixed:

  • 1081016: glusterd needs xfsprogs and e2fsprogs packages
  • 1100204: brick failure detection does not work for ext4 filesystems
  • 1126801: glusterfs logrotate config file pollutes global config
  • 1129527: DHT :- data loss - file is missing on renaming same file from multiple client at same time
  • 1129541: [DHT:REBALANCE]: Rebalance failures are seen with error message " remote operation failed: File exists"
  • 1132391: NFS interoperability problem: stripe-xlator removes EOF at end of READDIR
  • 1133949: Minor typo in afr logging
  • 1136221: The memories are exhausted quickly when handle the message which has multi fragments in a single record
  • 1136835: crash on fsync
  • 1138922: DHT + rebalance : rebalance process crashed + data loss + few Directories are present on sub-volumes but not visible on mount point + lookup is not healing directories
  • 1139103: DHT + Snapshot :- If snapshot is taken when Directory is created only on hashed sub-vol; On restoring that snapshot Directory is not listed on mount point and lookup on parent is not healing
  • 1139170: DHT :- rm -rf is not removing stale link file and because of that unable to create file having same name as stale link file
  • 1139245: vdsm invoked oom-killer during rebalance and Killed process 4305, UID 0, (glusterfs nfs process)
  • 1140338: rebalance is not resulting in the hash layout changes being available to nfs client
  • 1140348: Renaming file while rebalance is in progress causes data loss
  • 1140549: DHT: Rebalance process crash after add-brick and `rebalance start' operation
  • 1140556: Core: client crash while doing rename operations on the mount
  • 1141558: AFR : "gluster volume heal <volume_name> info" prints some random characters
  • 1141733: data loss when rebalance + renames are in progress and bricks from replica pairs goes down and comes back
  • 1142052: Very high memory usage during rebalance
  • 1142614: files with open fd's getting into split-brain when bricks goes offline and comes back online
  • 1144315: core: all brick processes crash when quota is enabled
  • 1145000: Spec %post server does not wait for the old glusterd to exit
  • 1147156: AFR client segmentation fault in afr_priv_destroy
  • 1147243: nfs: volume set help says the rmtab file is in "/var/lib/glusterd/rmtab"
  • 1149857: Option transport.socket.bind-address ignored
  • 1153626: Sizeof bug for allocation of memory in afr_lookup
  • 1153629: AFR : excessive logging of "Non blocking entrylks failed" in glfsheal log file.
  • 1153900: Enabling Quota on existing data won't create pgfid xattrs
  • 1153904: self heal info logs are filled with messages reporting ENOENT while self-heal is going on
  • 1155073: Excessive logging in the self-heal daemon after a replace-brick
  • 1157661: GlusterFS allows insecure SSL modes

Known Issues:

  • The following configuration changes are necessary for 'qemu' and 'samba vfs plugin' integration with libgfapi to work seamlessly:
    1. gluster volume set <volname> server.allow-insecure on
    2. restarting the volume is necessary
       gluster volume stop <volname>
       gluster volume start <volname>
    3. Edit /etc/glusterfs/glusterd.vol to contain this line:
       option rpc-auth-allow-insecure on
    4. restarting glusterd is necessary
       service glusterd restart
      More details are also documented in the Gluster Wiki on the Libgfapi with qemu libvirt page.
  • For Block Device translator based volumes open-behind translator at the client side needs to be disabled.
    gluster volume set <volname> disabled
  • libgfapi clients calling glfs_fini before a successfull glfs_init will cause the client to hang as reported here. The workaround is NOT to call glfs_fini for error cases encountered before a successfull glfs_init. This is being tracked in Bug 1134050 for glusterfs-3.5 and Bug 1093594 for mainline.
  • If the /var/run/gluster directory does not exist enabling quota will likely fail (Bug 1117888).