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how does ext3 handle no communication to storage

Can anyone tell us what the expected behavior is,
in the event that ext3 loses total contact with the storage system ?

We have found that the file system is put into read only mode,
it is then found to contain errors, and requires an fsck.
Sometimes the fsck finds numerous (some serious looking) errors,
and that running without fsck doesn't seem like a safe option.

We are trying to understand why exactly this is.
Why do we get errors ?  Why serious ones ?

We had  a couple to instances this year, where this situation arose,
i.e. lost power to fiber switches, a raid controlled became unresponsive but did not fail over correctly.
We also tested disconnecting all cables to host hbas, to verify the problem wasn't induced by the raid in some way.
And, basically we always see the same  symptoms.
Can anyone explain ?


Sev Binello
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, New York
sev bnl gov

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