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[Linux-cluster] Ext3/ext4 in a clustered environement

Hi !

We are curently using RHEL 6.1 with GFS2 file systems on top of fiber-channel stoarage for our cluster. All fs' are in lv's, with clvmd.

Our services are divided into directories. For exemple : /GFSVolume1/Service1, GFSVolume1/Service2, and so forth. Almost everuything the service needs to run is under those directories (apache, php executables, websites data, java servers, etc).

On some services, there are document directories that are huge, not that much in size (about 35 gigs), but in number of files, around one million. One service even has 3 data directories with that many files each.

It works pretty well for now, but when it comes to data update (via rsync) and backup (also via rsync), the node doing the rsync crawls to a stop, all 16 logical cores are used at 100% system, and it sometimes freezes the file system for other services on other nodes.

We've changed recently the way the rsync is done, we just to a rsync -nv to see what files would be transfered and transfer thos files manually. But it's still too much sometimes for the gfs.

In our case, nfs is not an option, there is a lot of is_file called that access this directory structure all the time, and the added latency of nfs is not viable.

So, I'm thinking of putting each of thos directories into a single ext4 filesystem of about 100 gigs to speed up all of those process. Where those huge directories are used, they are used by one service and one service alone. So, I would do a file system in cluster.conf, something like :

<fs device="/dev/VGx/documentsA" force_unmount="1" fstype="ext4" mountpoint="/GFSVolume1/Service1/documentsA" name="documentsA" options="noatime,quota=off"/>

So, first, is this doable ?

Second, is this risky ? In the sens of that with force_unmont true, I assume that no other node would mount that filesystem before it is unmounted on the stopping service. I know that for some reason umount could hang, but it's not likely since this data is mostly read-only. In that case the service would be failed and need to be manually restarted. What would be the consequence if the filesystem happens to be mounted on 2 nodes ?

One could add self_fence="1" to the fs line, so that even if it fails, it will self-fence the node to force the umount. But I'm not there yet.

Third, I've been told that it's not recommended to mount a file system like this "on top" of another clustered fs. Why is that ? I suppose I'll have to mount under /mnt/something and symlink to that.

Thanks for any insights.
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