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From lichtner <>
Subject Re: Replication using totem protocol
Date Tue, 17 Jan 2006 18:05:02 GMT

On Tue, 17 Jan 2006, Jules Gosnell wrote:

> just when you thought that this thread would die :-)

I think Jeff Genender wanted a discussion to be sparked, and it worked.

> So, I am wondering how might I use e.g. a shared disc or majority voting
> in this situation ? In order to decide which fragment was the original
> cluster and which was the piece that had broken off ? but then what
> would the piece that had broken off do ? shutdown ?

Wait to rejoin the cluster. Since it is not "the" cluster, it waits. It is
not safe to make any updates.

_How_ a groups decides it is "the" cluster can be done in several ways.
Shared-disk cluster can do by a locking operation on a disk (I would have
to research the details on this), a cluster with a database can get a lock
from the database (and keep the connection open). And one way to do this
in a shared-nothing cluster is to use a quorum of N/2 + 1, where is the
maximum number of nodes. Clearly it has to be the majority or else you can
have a split-brain cluster.

> Do you think that we need to worry about situations where a piece of
> state has more than one client, so a network partition may result in two
> copies diverging in different and incompatible directions, rather than
> only one diverging.

If you use a quorum or quorum-resource as above you do not have this
problem. You can turn down the requests or let them block until the
cluster re-discovers the 'failed' nodes.

> I can imagine this happening in an Entity Bean (but
> we should be able to use the DB to resolve this) or an application POJO.
> I haven't considered the latter case and it looks pretty hopeless to me,
> unless you have some alternative route over which the two fragments can
> communicate... but then, if you did, would you not pair it with your
> original network, so that the one failed over to the other or replicated
> its activity, so that you never perceived a split in the first place ?
> Is this a common solution, or do people use other mechanisms here ?

I do believe that membership and quorum is all you need.


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