Add and remove GlusterFS servers

  • Last updated on: 2016-06-10
  • Authored by: Matt Sherborne

Previous section: Set up a two-server GlusterFS array

This article describes how to add a new node, balance it into the array, and then remove it.

Create a new server

Use the nova boot command from the previous article to create a server called web3:

nova boot --image bb02b1a3-bc77-4d17-ab5b-421d89850fca --flavor performance1-4 web3

You could also use the Rackspace Cloud Control Panel to create the new server.

Add the server to the Rackspace custom network

In the previous article, you added a Rackspace custom network.

  1. Get the UUID of the network by using the following nova command:

    nova network-list
  2. After you have the UUID, associate the new host with it.

    Replace UUID in the following command with the actual UUID (for example, 5492de89-1497-4aa0-96eb-bcdd55e1195c). web03 is the host name of the server that you want to add.

    nova network-associate-host UUID web03

You can also use the Rackspace Cloud Control panel to associate a server with your existing network.

When you are done, the new server should have the IP address on interface /dev/eth3. That is the address that GlusterFS will use to communicate with the other server.

Format the partition and install GlusterFS

  1. Use SSH to log in to the server.

  2. Using the instructions from the previous article, install GlusterFS and format the bricks partition as follows:

    apt-get update
    apt-get install -y glusterfs-server glusterfs-client
    apt-get install -y xfsprogs
    mkfs.xfs /dev/xvde1
    mkdir /srv/.bricks
    echo /dev/xvde1 /srv/.bricks xfs rw 0 1 >> /etc/fstab
    mount /srv/.bricks
    ufw allow in on eth2

Incorporate the new brick into the Gluster volume

  1. Use SSH to log in to either web01 or web02.

  2. The following command instructs the GlusterFS volume to trust the new server:

    root@web02 :~# gluster peer probe
    peer probe: success
  3. Add the brick into the volume:

    root@web02 :~# gluster volume add-brick www replica 3
    volume add-brick: success

The parts of the command are as follows:

  • gluster - The command is for GlusterFS.
  • volume - The command is related to a volume.
  • add-brick - You are adding a brick to the volume.
  • www - This is the name of the volume.
  • replica 3 - After you add this brick, the volume will keep at least three copies of each file, one copy per brick, and in this case, one copy per server (because there is only one brick on each server).
  • - This is the IP address of the Gluster server, followed by the absolute path to where the brick data should be stored.

Volume storage strategies

GlusterFS offers different types of volume storage strategies:

  • Distributed - One file on one brick, the next file on the next. This strategy gives you more space because your volume is the sum of all the bricks.
  • Replicated - Every file is copied to every server. This is the strategy that we recommend.
  • Striped - Files are cut into chunks, and one chunk is written to the first brick, one chunk is written to the second brick, and so on.

You can also combine strategies, for example replicated-distributed, as illustrated in the following example:

gluster volume create www replica 2 transport tcp

The replica number is the number of bricks that make up a replica set, that is, hold a full copy of the files. In the preceding example + hold a full copy of the files, as do + The brick order is significant; if you ordered it 1,3,2,4 then 1+3 and 2+4 would hold the full files, so that if 1+2 went down, you would loose half your files and have two copies of the other half.

Having a replicated-distributed volume gives you a little extra speed, and more space in exchange for data safety.

Striped-replicated volumes are recommended only when you have files that are bigger than a brick, or many large files that are undergoing many IO operations.

View the state of the servers

Following are some commands that you can use to find out more about what’s happening in your cluster. You will use these commands in the later articles.

peer status

If you run the following command from any server, it shows all the peer servers that it knows about:

root@web01:~# gluster peer status
Number of Peers: 2

Uuid: ba502dc2-447f-466a-a732-df989e71b551
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)

Uuid: 56e02356-d2c3-4787-ae25-6b46e867751a
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)

volume status

The following command is a helpful troubleshooting command. It gives information about all the GlusterFS volumes and tasks queued and in progress.

root@web03:~# gluster volume status
Status of volume: www
Gluster process						Port	Online	Pid
Brick			49152	Y	13673
Brick			49152	Y	10249
Brick			49153	Y	13783
NFS Server on localhost					2049	Y	13793
Self-heal Daemon on localhost				N/A	Y	13800
NFS Server on				2049	Y	13900
Self-heal Daemon on				N/A	Y	13907
NFS Server on				2049	Y	10286
Self-heal Daemon on				N/A	Y	10293

There are no active volume tasks

Remove a brick

Now, remove a brick from the volume. The following example removes brick 2:

root@web01:~# gluster volume remove-brick www replica 2
Removing brick(s) can result in data loss. Do you want to Continue? (y/n) y
volume remove-brick commit force: success

This command tells GlusterFS that the www volume will now keep only 2 copies of each file. It prompts you that you might lose data.

If you were on a distributed volume, you would want to run the command as follows:

root@web01:~# gluster volume remove-brick www replica 2 start

Then, watch it until it finishes:

root@web01:~# watch gluster volume remove-brick www replica 2 status

Running the command that way gives GlusterFS time to re-distribute the files around the bricks.

Re-add a brick

Re-adding a brick is not as straight forward as it could be, so this section explains how to do it.

Try adding web02 back into the volume, as follows:

root@web01:~# gluster volume add-brick www replica 3
volume add-brick: failed:

It failed. Why? Look at the logs on web02:

root@web02:/srv/.bricks# tail /var/log/glusterfs/*log -f | grep E
[2014-05-25 00:19:04.954410] I [input.c:36:cli_batch] 0-: Exiting with: 0
[2014-05-25 00:19:12.958620] I [input.c:36:cli_batch] 0-: Exiting with: 0
[2014-05-25 00:40:46.923747] E [glusterd-utils.c:5377:glusterd_is_path_in_use] 0-management: /srv/.bricks/www or a prefix of it is already part of a volume
[2014-05-25 00:40:46.923789] E [glusterd-op-sm.c:3719:glusterd_op_ac_stage_op] 0-management: Stage failed on operation 'Volume Add brick', Status : -1

The issue is that /srv/.bricks/www still contains the data from the time when web02 was a member of the volume.

It needs a clean place to store the data. The easiest way to clean up is to just remove it all, as follows:

root@web02:~# rm -rf /srv/.bricks/www

Be careful to perform this action on the correct host (web02, which is currently out of the volume). If you do make a mistake, the next article shows you how to recover. Alternative actions would be to move the www directory out of the way, or to add the brick using another directory, such as www2.

Now that you have a clean location in which to store the brick, adding the brick is easy:

root@web01:/srv# gluster volume add-brick www replica 3
volume add-brick: success

Next section - How to recover from a failed server in a GlusterFS array

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