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Network Power Switches

You can fence GFS nodes with power switches and fencing agents available with Red Hat Cluster Suite. For more information about fencing with network power switches, refer to Configuring and Managing a efore you install and set up GFS, note the following key characteristics of your GFS file systems:

Number of file systems
Determine how many GFS file systems to create initially. (More file systems can be added later.)
File-system name
Determine a unique name for each file system. Each file-system name is required in the form of a parameter variable. For example, this book uses file-system names gfs1 and gfs2 in some example procedures.
Determine the number of journals for your GFS file systems. One journal is required for each node that mounts a GFS file system. Make sure to account for additional journals needed for future expansion.
GFS nodes
Determine which nodes in the Red Hat Cluster Suite will mount the GFS file systems.
GNBD server nodes
If you are using GNBD, determine how many GNBD server nodes are needed. Note the hostname and IP address of each GNBD server node for setting up GNBD clients later. For information on using GNBD with GFS, see the Using GNBD with Global File System document.
Storage devices and partitions
Determine the storage devices and partitions to be used for creating logical volumes (via CLVM) in the file systems.Red Hat GFS is a cluster file system that is available with Red Hat Cluster Suite. Red Hat GFS nodes are configured and managed with Red Hat Cluster Suite configuration and management tools. Red Hat GFS provides data sharing among GFS nodes in a Red Hat cluster. GFS provides a single, consistent view of the file-system name space across the GFS nodes in a Red Hat cluster. GFS allows applications to install and run without much knowledge of the underlying storage infrastructure. GFS is fully compliant with the IEEE POSIX interface, allowing applications to perform file operations as if they were running on a local file system. Also, GFS provides features that are typically required in enterprise environments, such as quotas, multiple journals, and multipath support.

GFS provides a versatile method of networking your storage according to the performance, scalability, and economic needs of your storage environment. This chapter provides some very basic, abbreviated information as background to help you understand GFS. It contains the following sections:

5. Recommended References

For additional references about related topics, refer to the following table:

Topic Reference Comment Shared Data Clustering and File Systems Shared Data Clusters by Dilip M. Ranade. Wiley, 2002. Provides detailed technical information on cluster file system and cluster volume-manager design.
Storage Area Networks (SANs) Designing Storage Area Networks: A Practical Reference for Implementing Fibre Channel and IP SANs, Second Edition by Tom Clark. Addison-Wesley, 2003. Provides a concise summary of Fibre Channel and IP SAN Technology.
  Building SANs with Brocade Fabric Switches by C. Beauchamp, J. Judd, and B. Keo. Syngress, 2001. Best practices for building Fibre Channel SANs based on the Brocade family of switches, including core-edge topology for large SAN fabrics.
  Building Storage Networks, Second Edition by Marc Farley. Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2001. Provides a comprehensive overview reference on storage networking technologies.
Applications and High Availability Blueprints for High Availability: Designing Resilient Distributed Systems by E. Marcus and H. Stern. Wiley, 2000. Provides a summary of best practices in high availability.

4. Feedback

If you spot a typo, or if you have thought of a way to make this manual better, we would love to hear from you. Please submit a report in Bugzilla against the component rh-cs.

Be sure to mention the manual’s identifier:

By mentioning this manual’s identifier, we know exactly which version of the guide you have.

If you have a suggestion for improving the documentation, try to be as specific as possible. If you have found an error, please include the section number and some of the surrounding text so we can find it easily.

3. Document Conventions

Certain words in this manual are represented in different fonts, styles, and weights. This highlighting indicates that the word is part of a specific category. The categories include the following:

Courier font
Courier font represents commands, file names and paths, and prompts .When shown as below, it indicates computer output:

Desktop       about.html       logs      paulwesterberg.png
Mail          backupfiles      mail      reports
bold Courier font
Bold Courier font represents text that you are to type, such as: service jonas startIf you have to run a command as root, the root prompt (#) precedes the command:

# gconftool-2
italic Courier font
Italic Courier font represents a variable, such as an installation directory: install_dir/bin/
bold font
Bold font represents application programs and text found on a graphical interface.When shown like this: OK , it indicates a button on a graphical application interface.

Additionally, the manual uses different strategies to draw your attention to pieces of information. In order of how critical the information is to you, these items are marked as follows:


A note is typically information that you need to understand the behavior of the system.


A tip is typically an alternative way of performing a task.


Important information is necessary, but possibly unexpected, such as a configuration change that will not persist after a reboot.


A caution indicates an act that would violate your support agreement, such as recompiling the kernel.


A warning indicates potential data loss, as may happen when tuning hardware for maximum performance.

2. Related Documentation

For more information about using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, refer to the following resources:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation Guide — Provides information regarding installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Deployment Guide — Provides information regarding the deployment, configuration and administration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

For more information about Red Hat Cluster Suite for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, refer to the following resources:

  • Red Hat Cluster Suite Overview — Provides a high level overview of the Red Hat Cluster Suite.
  • Configuring and Managing a Red Hat Cluster — Provides information about installing, configuring and managing Red Hat Cluster components.
  • LVM Administrator’s Guide: Configuration and Administration — Provides a description of the Logical Volume Manager (LVM), including information on running LVM in a clustered environment.
  • Using Device-Mapper Multipath — Provides information about using the Device-Mapper Multipath feature of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
  • Using GNBD with Global File System — Provides an overview on using Global Network Block Device (GNBD) with Red Hat GFS.
  • Linux Virtual Server Administration — Provides information on configuring high-performance systems and services with the Linux Virtual Server (LVS).
  • Red Hat Cluster Suite Release Notes — Provides information about the current release of Red Hat Cluster Suite.

Red Hat Cluster Suite documentation and other Red Hat documents are available in HTML, PDF, and RPM versions on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Documentation CD and online.

1. Audience

This book is intended primarily for Linux system administrators who are familiar with the following activities:

  • Linux system administration procedures, including kernel configuration
  • Installation and configuration of shared storage networks, such as Fibre Channel SANs.

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