6. Fencing

6.1. What Is Fencing?

Fencing is the ability to make a node unable to run resources, even when that node is unresponsive to cluster commands.

Fencing is also known as STONITH, an acronym for “Shoot The Other Node In The Head”, since the most common fencing method is cutting power to the node. Another method is “fabric fencing”, cutting the node’s access to some capability required to run resources (such as network access or a shared disk).

6.2. Why Is Fencing Necessary?

Fencing protects your data from being corrupted by malfunctioning nodes or unintentional concurrent access to shared resources.

Fencing protects against the “split brain” failure scenario, where cluster nodes have lost the ability to reliably communicate with each other but are still able to run resources. If the cluster just assumed that uncommunicative nodes were down, then multiple instances of a resource could be started on different nodes.

The effect of split brain depends on the resource type. For example, an IP address brought up on two hosts on a network will cause packets to randomly be sent to one or the other host, rendering the IP useless. For a database or clustered file system, the effect could be much more severe, causing data corruption or divergence.

Fencing is also used when a resource cannot otherwise be stopped. If a resource fails to stop on a node, it cannot be started on a different node without risking the same type of conflict as split-brain. Fencing the original node ensures the resource can be safely started elsewhere.

Users may also configure the on-fail property of Resource Operations or the loss-policy property of ticket constraints to fence, in which case the cluster will fence the resource’s node if the operation fails or the ticket is lost.

6.3. Fence Devices

A fence device or fencing device is a special type of resource that provides the means to fence a node.

Examples of fencing devices include intelligent power switches and IPMI devices that accept SNMP commands to cut power to a node, and iSCSI controllers that allow SCSI reservations to be used to cut a node’s access to a shared disk.

Since fencing devices will be used to recover from loss of networking connectivity to other nodes, it is essential that they do not rely on the same network as the cluster itself, otherwise that network becomes a single point of failure.

Since loss of a node due to power outage is indistinguishable from loss of network connectivity to that node, it is also essential that at least one fence device for a node does not share power with that node. For example, an on-board IPMI controller that shares power with its host should not be used as the sole fencing device for that host.

Since fencing is used to isolate malfunctioning nodes, no fence device should rely on its target functioning properly. This includes, for example, devices that ssh into a node and issue a shutdown command (such devices might be suitable for testing, but never for production).

6.4. Fence Agents

A fence agent or fencing agent is a stonith-class resource agent.

The fence agent standard provides commands (such as off and reboot) that the cluster can use to fence nodes. As with other resource agent classes, this allows a layer of abstraction so that Pacemaker doesn’t need any knowledge about specific fencing technologies – that knowledge is isolated in the agent.

Pacemaker supports two fence agent standards, both inherited from no-longer-active projects:

  • Red Hat Cluster Suite (RHCS) style: These are typically installed in /usr/sbin with names starting with fence_.
  • Linux-HA style: These typically have names starting with external/. Pacemaker can support these agents using the fence_legacy RHCS-style agent as a wrapper, if support was enabled when Pacemaker was built, which requires the cluster-glue library.

6.5. When a Fence Device Can Be Used

Fencing devices do not actually “run” like most services. Typically, they just provide an interface for sending commands to an external device.

Additionally, fencing may be initiated by Pacemaker, by other cluster-aware software such as DRBD or DLM, or manually by an administrator, at any point in the cluster life cycle, including before any resources have been started.

To accommodate this, Pacemaker does not require the fence device resource to be “started” in order to be used. Whether a fence device is started or not determines whether a node runs any recurring monitor for the device, and gives the node a slight preference for being chosen to execute fencing using that device.

By default, any node can execute any fencing device. If a fence device is disabled by setting its target-role to Stopped, then no node can use that device. If a location constraint with a negative score prevents a specific node from “running” a fence device, then that node will never be chosen to execute fencing using the device. A node may fence itself, but the cluster will choose that only if no other nodes can do the fencing.

A common configuration scenario is to have one fence device per target node. In such a case, users often configure anti-location constraints so that the target node does not monitor its own device.

6.6. Limitations of Fencing Resources

Fencing resources have certain limitations that other resource classes don’t:

  • They may have only one set of meta-attributes and one set of instance attributes.
  • If Rules are used to determine fencing resource options, these might be evaluated only when first read, meaning that later changes to the rules will have no effect. Therefore, it is better to avoid confusion and not use rules at all with fencing resources.

These limitations could be revisited if there is sufficient user demand.

6.7. Special Meta-Attributes for Fencing Resources

The table below lists special resource meta-attributes that may be set for any fencing resource.

Additional Properties of Fencing Resources
Field Type Default Description
provides string  

Any special capability provided by the fence device. Currently, only one such capability is meaningful: unfencing.

6.8. Special Instance Attributes for Fencing Resources

The table below lists special instance attributes that may be set for any fencing resource (not meta-attributes, even though they are interpreted by Pacemaker rather than the fence agent). These are also listed in the man page for pacemaker-fenced.

Additional Properties of Fencing Resources
Field Type Default Description
stonith-timeout time  

This is not used by Pacemaker (see the pcmk_reboot_timeout, pcmk_off_timeout, etc. properties instead), but it may be used by Linux-HA fence agents.

pcmk_host_map string  

A mapping of host names to ports numbers for devices that do not support host names.

Example: node1:1;node2:2,3 tells the cluster to use port 1 for node1 and ports 2 and 3 for node2. If pcmk_host_check is explicitly set to static-list, either this or pcmk_host_list must be set.

pcmk_host_list string  

A list of machines controlled by this device. If pcmk_host_check is explicitly set to static-list, either this or pcmk_host_map must be set.

pcmk_host_check string Value appropriate to other parameters (see “Default Check Type” below)

The method Pacemaker should use to determine which nodes can be targeted by this device. Allowed values:

  • static-list: targets are listed in the pcmk_host_list or pcmk_host_map attribute
  • dynamic-list: query the device via the agent’s list action
  • status: query the device via the agent’s status action
  • none: assume the device can fence any node
pcmk_delay_max time 0s

Enable a delay of no more than the time specified before executing fencing actions. Pacemaker derives the overall delay by taking the value of pcmk_delay_base and adding a random delay value such that the sum is kept below this maximum. This is sometimes used in two-node clusters to ensure that the nodes don’t fence each other at the same time.

pcmk_delay_base time 0s

Enable a static delay before executing fencing actions. This can be used, for example, in two-node clusters to ensure that the nodes don’t fence each other, by having separate fencing resources with different values. The node that is fenced with the shorter delay will lose a fencing race. The overall delay introduced by pacemaker is derived from this value plus a random delay such that the sum is kept below the maximum delay.

pcmk_action_limit integer 1

The maximum number of actions that can be performed in parallel on this device. A value of -1 means unlimited. Node fencing actions initiated by the cluster (as opposed to an administrator running the stonith_admin tool or the fencer running recurring device monitors and status and list commands) are additionally subject to the concurrent-fencing cluster property.

pcmk_host_argument string port otherwise plug if supported according to the metadata of the fence agent

Advanced use only. Which parameter should be supplied to the fence agent to identify the node to be fenced. Some devices support neither the standard plug nor the deprecated port parameter, or may provide additional ones. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific parameter. A value of none tells the cluster not to supply any additional parameters.

pcmk_reboot_action string reboot

Advanced use only. The command to send to the resource agent in order to reboot a node. Some devices do not support the standard commands or may provide additional ones. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific command.

pcmk_reboot_timeout time 60s

Advanced use only. Specify an alternate timeout to use for reboot actions instead of the value of stonith-timeout. Some devices need much more or less time to complete than normal. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific timeout.

pcmk_reboot_retries integer 2

Advanced use only. The maximum number of times to retry the reboot command within the timeout period. Some devices do not support multiple connections, and operations may fail if the device is busy with another task, so Pacemaker will automatically retry the operation, if there is time remaining. Use this option to alter the number of times Pacemaker retries before giving up.

pcmk_off_action string off

Advanced use only. The command to send to the resource agent in order to shut down a node. Some devices do not support the standard commands or may provide additional ones. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific command.

pcmk_off_timeout time 60s

Advanced use only. Specify an alternate timeout to use for off actions instead of the value of stonith-timeout. Some devices need much more or less time to complete than normal. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific timeout.

pcmk_off_retries integer 2

Advanced use only. The maximum number of times to retry the off command within the timeout period. Some devices do not support multiple connections, and operations may fail if the device is busy with another task, so Pacemaker will automatically retry the operation, if there is time remaining. Use this option to alter the number of times Pacemaker retries before giving up.

pcmk_list_action string list

Advanced use only. The command to send to the resource agent in order to list nodes. Some devices do not support the standard commands or may provide additional ones. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific command.

pcmk_list_timeout time 60s

Advanced use only. Specify an alternate timeout to use for list actions instead of the value of stonith-timeout. Some devices need much more or less time to complete than normal. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific timeout.

pcmk_list_retries integer 2

Advanced use only. The maximum number of times to retry the list command within the timeout period. Some devices do not support multiple connections, and operations may fail if the device is busy with another task, so Pacemaker will automatically retry the operation, if there is time remaining. Use this option to alter the number of times Pacemaker retries before giving up.

pcmk_monitor_action string monitor

Advanced use only. The command to send to the resource agent in order to report extended status. Some devices do not support the standard commands or may provide additional ones. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific command.

pcmk_monitor_timeout time 60s

Advanced use only. Specify an alternate timeout to use for monitor actions instead of the value of stonith-timeout. Some devices need much more or less time to complete than normal. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific timeout.

pcmk_monitor_retries integer 2

Advanced use only. The maximum number of times to retry the monitor command within the timeout period. Some devices do not support multiple connections, and operations may fail if the device is busy with another task, so Pacemaker will automatically retry the operation, if there is time remaining. Use this option to alter the number of times Pacemaker retries before giving up.

pcmk_status_action string status

Advanced use only. The command to send to the resource agent in order to report status. Some devices do not support the standard commands or may provide additional ones. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific command.

pcmk_status_timeout time 60s

Advanced use only. Specify an alternate timeout to use for status actions instead of the value of stonith-timeout. Some devices need much more or less time to complete than normal. Use this to specify an alternate, device-specific timeout.

pcmk_status_retries integer 2

Advanced use only. The maximum number of times to retry the status command within the timeout period. Some devices do not support multiple connections, and operations may fail if the device is busy with another task, so Pacemaker will automatically retry the operation, if there is time remaining. Use this option to alter the number of times Pacemaker retries before giving up.

6.9. Default Check Type

If the user does not explicitly configure pcmk_host_check for a fence device, a default value appropriate to other configured parameters will be used:

  • If either pcmk_host_list or pcmk_host_map is configured, static-list will be used;
  • otherwise, if the fence device supports the list action, and the first attempt at using list succeeds, dynamic-list will be used;
  • otherwise, if the fence device supports the status action, status will be used;
  • otherwise, none will be used.

6.10. Unfencing

With fabric fencing (such as cutting network or shared disk access rather than power), it is expected that the cluster will fence the node, and then a system administrator must manually investigate what went wrong, correct any issues found, then reboot (or restart the cluster services on) the node.

Once the node reboots and rejoins the cluster, some fabric fencing devices require an explicit command to restore the node’s access. This capability is called unfencing and is typically implemented as the fence agent’s on command.

If any cluster resource has requires set to unfencing, then that resource will not be probed or started on a node until that node has been unfenced.

6.11. Fencing and Quorum

In general, a cluster partition may execute fencing only if the partition has quorum, and the stonith-enabled cluster property is set to true. However, there are exceptions:

  • The requirements apply only to fencing initiated by Pacemaker. If an administrator initiates fencing using the stonith_admin command, or an external application such as DLM initiates fencing using Pacemaker’s C API, the requirements do not apply.
  • A cluster partition without quorum is allowed to fence any active member of that partition. As a corollary, this allows a no-quorum-policy of suicide to work.
  • If the no-quorum-policy cluster property is set to ignore, then quorum is not required to execute fencing of any node.

6.12. Fencing Timeouts

Fencing timeouts are complicated, since a single fencing operation can involve many steps, each of which may have a separate timeout.

Fencing may be initiated in one of several ways:

  • An administrator may initiate fencing using the stonith_admin tool, which has a --timeout option (defaulting to 2 minutes) that will be used as the fence operation timeout.
  • An external application such as DLM may initiate fencing using the Pacemaker C API. The application will specify the fence operation timeout in this case, which might or might not be configurable by the user.
  • The cluster may initiate fencing itself. In this case, the stonith-timeout cluster property (defaulting to 1 minute) will be used as the fence operation timeout.

However fencing is initiated, the initiator contacts Pacemaker’s fencer (pacemaker-fenced) to request fencing. This connection and request has its own timeout, separate from the fencing operation timeout, but usually happens very quickly.

The fencer will contact all fencers in the cluster to ask what devices they have available to fence the target node. The fence operation timeout will be used as the timeout for each of these queries.

Once a fencing device has been selected, the fencer will check whether any action-specific timeout has been configured for the device, to use instead of the fence operation timeout. For example, if stonith-timeout is 60 seconds, but the fencing device has pcmk_reboot_timeout configured as 90 seconds, then a timeout of 90 seconds will be used for reboot actions using that device.

A device may have retries configured, in which case the timeout applies across all attempts. For example, if a device has pcmk_reboot_retries configured as 2, and the first reboot attempt fails, the second attempt will only have whatever time is remaining in the action timeout after subtracting how much time the first attempt used. This means that if the first attempt fails due to using the entire timeout, no further attempts will be made. There is currently no way to configure a per-attempt timeout.

If more than one device is required to fence a target, whether due to failure of the first device or a fencing topology with multiple devices configured for the target, each device will have its own separate action timeout.

For all of the above timeouts, the fencer will generally multiply the configured value by 1.2 to get an actual value to use, to account for time needed by the fencer’s own processing.

Separate from the fencer’s timeouts, some fence agents have internal timeouts for individual steps of their fencing process. These agents often have parameters to configure these timeouts, such as login-timeout, shell-timeout, or power-timeout. Many such agents also have a disable-timeout parameter to ignore their internal timeouts and just let Pacemaker handle the timeout. This causes a difference in retry behavior. If disable-timeout is not set, and the agent hits one of its internal timeouts, it will report that as a failure to Pacemaker, which can then retry. If disable-timeout is set, and Pacemaker hits a timeout for the agent, then there will be no time remaining, and no retry will be done.

6.13. Fence Devices Dependent on Other Resources

In some cases, a fence device may require some other cluster resource (such as an IP address) to be active in order to function properly.

This is obviously undesirable in general: fencing may be required when the depended-on resource is not active, or fencing may be required because the node running the depended-on resource is no longer responding.

However, this may be acceptable under certain conditions:

  • The dependent fence device should not be able to target any node that is allowed to run the depended-on resource.
  • The depended-on resource should not be disabled during production operation.
  • The concurrent-fencing cluster property should be set to true. Otherwise, if both the node running the depended-on resource and some node targeted by the dependent fence device need to be fenced, the fencing of the node running the depended-on resource might be ordered first, making the second fencing impossible and blocking further recovery. With concurrent fencing, the dependent fence device might fail at first due to the depended-on resource being unavailable, but it will be retried and eventually succeed once the resource is brought back up.

Even under those conditions, there is one unlikely problem scenario. The DC always schedules fencing of itself after any other fencing needed, to avoid unnecessary repeated DC elections. If the dependent fence device targets the DC, and both the DC and a different node running the depended-on resource need to be fenced, the DC fencing will always fail and block further recovery. Note, however, that losing a DC node entirely causes some other node to become DC and schedule the fencing, so this is only a risk when a stop or other operation with on-fail set to fencing fails on the DC.

6.14. Configuring Fencing

Higher-level tools can provide simpler interfaces to this process, but using Pacemaker command-line tools, this is how you could configure a fence device.

  1. Find the correct driver:

    # stonith_admin --list-installed
    

    Note

    You may have to install packages to make fence agents available on your host. Searching your available packages for fence- is usually helpful. Ensure the packages providing the fence agents you require are installed on every cluster node.

  2. Find the required parameters associated with the device (replacing $AGENT_NAME with the name obtained from the previous step):

    # stonith_admin --metadata --agent $AGENT_NAME
    
  3. Create a file called stonith.xml containing a primitive resource with a class of stonith, a type equal to the agent name obtained earlier, and a parameter for each of the values returned in the previous step.

  4. If the device does not know how to fence nodes based on their uname, you may also need to set the special pcmk_host_map parameter. See Special Meta-Attributes for Fencing Resources for details.

  5. If the device does not support the list command, you may also need to set the special pcmk_host_list and/or pcmk_host_check parameters. See Special Meta-Attributes for Fencing Resources for details.

  6. If the device does not expect the victim to be specified with the port parameter, you may also need to set the special pcmk_host_argument parameter. See Special Meta-Attributes for Fencing Resources for details.

  7. Upload it into the CIB using cibadmin:

    # cibadmin --create --scope resources --xml-file stonith.xml
    
  8. Set stonith-enabled to true:

    # crm_attribute --type crm_config --name stonith-enabled --update true
    
  9. Once the stonith resource is running, you can test it by executing the following, replacing $NODE_NAME with the name of the node to fence (although you might want to stop the cluster on that machine first):

    # stonith_admin --reboot $NODE_NAME
    

6.14.1. Example Fencing Configuration

For this example, we assume we have a cluster node, pcmk-1, whose IPMI controller is reachable at the IP address 192.0.2.1. The IPMI controller uses the username testuser and the password abc123.

  1. Looking at what’s installed, we may see a variety of available agents:

    # stonith_admin --list-installed
    
    (... some output omitted ...)
    fence_idrac
    fence_ilo3
    fence_ilo4
    fence_ilo5
    fence_imm
    fence_ipmilan
    (... some output omitted ...)
    

    Perhaps after some reading some man pages and doing some Internet searches, we might decide fence_ipmilan is our best choice.

  2. Next, we would check what parameters fence_ipmilan provides:

    # stonith_admin --metadata -a fence_ipmilan
    
    <resource-agent name="fence_ipmilan" shortdesc="Fence agent for IPMI">
      <symlink name="fence_ilo3" shortdesc="Fence agent for HP iLO3"/>
      <symlink name="fence_ilo4" shortdesc="Fence agent for HP iLO4"/>
      <symlink name="fence_ilo5" shortdesc="Fence agent for HP iLO5"/>
      <symlink name="fence_imm" shortdesc="Fence agent for IBM Integrated Management Module"/>
      <symlink name="fence_idrac" shortdesc="Fence agent for Dell iDRAC"/>
      <longdesc>fence_ipmilan is an I/O Fencing agentwhich can be used with machines controlled by IPMI.This agent calls support software ipmitool (http://ipmitool.sf.net/). WARNING! This fence agent might report success before the node is powered off. You should use -m/method onoff if your fence device works correctly with that option.</longdesc>
      <vendor-url/>
      <parameters>
        <parameter name="action" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-o, --action=[action]"/>
          <content type="string" default="reboot"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Fencing action</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="auth" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-A, --auth=[auth]"/>
          <content type="select">
            <option value="md5"/>
            <option value="password"/>
            <option value="none"/>
          </content>
          <shortdesc lang="en">IPMI Lan Auth type.</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="cipher" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-C, --cipher=[cipher]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Ciphersuite to use (same as ipmitool -C parameter)</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="hexadecimal_kg" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--hexadecimal-kg=[key]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Hexadecimal-encoded Kg key for IPMIv2 authentication</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="ip" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="ipaddr">
          <getopt mixed="-a, --ip=[ip]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">IP address or hostname of fencing device</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="ipaddr" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="-a, --ip=[ip]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">IP address or hostname of fencing device</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="ipport" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-u, --ipport=[port]"/>
          <content type="integer" default="623"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">TCP/UDP port to use for connection with device</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="lanplus" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-P, --lanplus"/>
          <content type="boolean" default="0"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Use Lanplus to improve security of connection</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="login" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="-l, --username=[name]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Login name</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="method" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-m, --method=[method]"/>
          <content type="select" default="onoff">
            <option value="onoff"/>
            <option value="cycle"/>
          </content>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Method to fence</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="passwd" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="-p, --password=[password]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Login password or passphrase</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="passwd_script" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="-S, --password-script=[script]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Script to run to retrieve password</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="password" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="passwd">
          <getopt mixed="-p, --password=[password]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Login password or passphrase</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="password_script" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="passwd_script">
          <getopt mixed="-S, --password-script=[script]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Script to run to retrieve password</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="plug" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="port">
          <getopt mixed="-n, --plug=[ip]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">IP address or hostname of fencing device (together with --port-as-ip)</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="port" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="-n, --plug=[ip]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">IP address or hostname of fencing device (together with --port-as-ip)</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="privlvl" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-L, --privlvl=[level]"/>
          <content type="select" default="administrator">
            <option value="callback"/>
            <option value="user"/>
            <option value="operator"/>
            <option value="administrator"/>
          </content>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Privilege level on IPMI device</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="target" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--target=[targetaddress]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Bridge IPMI requests to the remote target address</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="username" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="login">
          <getopt mixed="-l, --username=[name]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Login name</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="quiet" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-q, --quiet"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Disable logging to stderr. Does not affect --verbose or --debug-file or logging to syslog.</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="verbose" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-v, --verbose"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Verbose mode</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="debug" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="-D, --debug-file=[debugfile]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Write debug information to given file</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="debug_file" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="debug">
          <getopt mixed="-D, --debug-file=[debugfile]"/>
          <content type="string"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Write debug information to given file</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="version" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-V, --version"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Display version information and exit</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="help" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="-h, --help"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Display help and exit</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="delay" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--delay=[seconds]"/>
          <content type="second" default="0"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Wait X seconds before fencing is started</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="ipmitool_path" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--ipmitool-path=[path]"/>
          <content type="string" default="/usr/bin/ipmitool"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Path to ipmitool binary</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="login_timeout" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--login-timeout=[seconds]"/>
          <content type="second" default="5"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Wait X seconds for cmd prompt after login</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="port_as_ip" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--port-as-ip"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Make "port/plug" to be an alias to IP address</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="power_timeout" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--power-timeout=[seconds]"/>
          <content type="second" default="20"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Test X seconds for status change after ON/OFF</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="power_wait" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--power-wait=[seconds]"/>
          <content type="second" default="2"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Wait X seconds after issuing ON/OFF</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="shell_timeout" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--shell-timeout=[seconds]"/>
          <content type="second" default="3"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Wait X seconds for cmd prompt after issuing command</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="retry_on" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--retry-on=[attempts]"/>
          <content type="integer" default="1"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Count of attempts to retry power on</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="sudo" unique="0" required="0" deprecated="1">
          <getopt mixed="--use-sudo"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Use sudo (without password) when calling 3rd party software</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="use_sudo" unique="0" required="0" obsoletes="sudo">
          <getopt mixed="--use-sudo"/>
          <content type="boolean"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Use sudo (without password) when calling 3rd party software</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
        <parameter name="sudo_path" unique="0" required="0">
          <getopt mixed="--sudo-path=[path]"/>
          <content type="string" default="/usr/bin/sudo"/>
          <shortdesc lang="en">Path to sudo binary</shortdesc>
        </parameter>
      </parameters>
      <actions>
        <action name="on" automatic="0"/>
        <action name="off"/>
        <action name="reboot"/>
        <action name="status"/>
        <action name="monitor"/>
        <action name="metadata"/>
        <action name="manpage"/>
        <action name="validate-all"/>
        <action name="diag"/>
        <action name="stop" timeout="20s"/>
        <action name="start" timeout="20s"/>
      </actions>
    </resource-agent>
    

    Once we’ve decided what parameter values we think we need, it is a good idea to run the fence agent’s status action manually, to verify that our values work correctly:

    # fence_ipmilan --lanplus -a 192.0.2.1 -l testuser -p abc123 -o status
    
    Chassis Power is on
    
  3. Based on that, we might create a fencing resource configuration like this in stonith.xml (or any file name, just use the same name with cibadmin later):

    <primitive id="Fencing-pcmk-1" class="stonith" type="fence_ipmilan" >
      <instance_attributes id="Fencing-params" >
        <nvpair id="Fencing-lanplus" name="lanplus" value="1" />
        <nvpair id="Fencing-ip" name="ip" value="192.0.2.1" />
        <nvpair id="Fencing-password" name="password" value="testuser" />
        <nvpair id="Fencing-username" name="username" value="abc123" />
      </instance_attributes>
      <operations >
        <op id="Fencing-monitor-10m" interval="10m" name="monitor" timeout="300s" />
      </operations>
    </primitive>
    

    Note

    Even though the man page shows that the action parameter is supported, we do not provide that in the resource configuration. Pacemaker will supply an appropriate action whenever the fence device must be used.

  4. In this case, we don’t need to configure pcmk_host_map because fence_ipmilan ignores the target node name and instead uses its ip parameter to know how to contact the IPMI controller.

  5. We do need to let Pacemaker know which cluster node can be fenced by this device, since fence_ipmilan doesn’t support the list action. Add a line like this to the agent’s instance attributes:

    <nvpair id="Fencing-pcmk_host_list" name="pcmk_host_list" value="pcmk-1" />
    
  6. We don’t need to configure pcmk_host_argument since ip is all the fence agent needs (it ignores the target name).

  7. Make the configuration active:

    # cibadmin --create --scope resources --xml-file stonith.xml
    
  8. Set stonith-enabled to true (this only has to be done once):

    # crm_attribute --type crm_config --name stonith-enabled --update true
    
  9. Since our cluster is still in testing, we can reboot pcmk-1 without bothering anyone, so we’ll test our fencing configuration by running this from one of the other cluster nodes:

    # stonith_admin --reboot pcmk-1
    

    Then we will verify that the node did, in fact, reboot.

We can repeat that process to create a separate fencing resource for each node.

With some other fence device types, a single fencing resource is able to be used for all nodes. In fact, we could do that with fence_ipmilan, using the port-as-ip parameter along with pcmk_host_map. Either approach is fine.

6.15. Fencing Topologies

Pacemaker supports fencing nodes with multiple devices through a feature called fencing topologies. Fencing topologies may be used to provide alternative devices in case one fails, or to require multiple devices to all be executed successfully in order to consider the node successfully fenced, or even a combination of the two.

Create the individual devices as you normally would, then define one or more fencing-level entries in the fencing-topology section of the configuration.

  • Each fencing level is attempted in order of ascending index. Allowed values are 1 through 9.
  • If a device fails, processing terminates for the current level. No further devices in that level are exercised, and the next level is attempted instead.
  • If the operation succeeds for all the listed devices in a level, the level is deemed to have passed.
  • The operation is finished when a level has passed (success), or all levels have been attempted (failed).
  • If the operation failed, the next step is determined by the scheduler and/or the controller.

Some possible uses of topologies include:

  • Try on-board IPMI, then an intelligent power switch if that fails
  • Try fabric fencing of both disk and network, then fall back to power fencing if either fails
  • Wait up to a certain time for a kernel dump to complete, then cut power to the node
Attributes of a fencing-level Element
Attribute Description
id

A unique name for this element (required)

target

The name of a single node to which this level applies

target-pattern

An extended regular expression (as defined in POSIX) matching the names of nodes to which this level applies

target-attribute

The name of a node attribute that is set (to target-value) for nodes to which this level applies

target-value

The node attribute value (of target-attribute) that is set for nodes to which this level applies

index

The order in which to attempt the levels. Levels are attempted in ascending order until one succeeds. Valid values are 1 through 9.

devices

A comma-separated list of devices that must all be tried for this level

Note

Fencing topology with different devices for different nodes

<cib crm_feature_set="3.6.0" validate-with="pacemaker-3.5" admin_epoch="1" epoch="0" num_updates="0">
  <configuration>
    ...
    <fencing-topology>
      <!-- For pcmk-1, try poison-pill and fail back to power -->
      <fencing-level id="f-p1.1" target="pcmk-1" index="1" devices="poison-pill"/>
      <fencing-level id="f-p1.2" target="pcmk-1" index="2" devices="power"/>

      <!-- For pcmk-2, try disk and network, and fail back to power -->
      <fencing-level id="f-p2.1" target="pcmk-2" index="1" devices="disk,network"/>
      <fencing-level id="f-p2.2" target="pcmk-2" index="2" devices="power"/>
    </fencing-topology>
    ...
  <configuration>
  <status/>
</cib>

6.15.1. Example Dual-Layer, Dual-Device Fencing Topologies

The following example illustrates an advanced use of fencing-topology in a cluster with the following properties:

  • 2 nodes (prod-mysql1 and prod-mysql2)
  • the nodes have IPMI controllers reachable at 192.0.2.1 and 192.0.2.2
  • the nodes each have two independent Power Supply Units (PSUs) connected to two independent Power Distribution Units (PDUs) reachable at 198.51.100.1 (port 10 and port 11) and 203.0.113.1 (port 10 and port 11)
  • fencing via the IPMI controller uses the fence_ipmilan agent (1 fence device per controller, with each device targeting a separate node)
  • fencing via the PDUs uses the fence_apc_snmp agent (1 fence device per PDU, with both devices targeting both nodes)
  • a random delay is used to lessen the chance of a “death match”
  • fencing topology is set to try IPMI fencing first then dual PDU fencing if that fails

In a node failure scenario, Pacemaker will first select fence_ipmilan to try to kill the faulty node. Using the fencing topology, if that method fails, it will then move on to selecting fence_apc_snmp twice (once for the first PDU, then again for the second PDU).

The fence action is considered successful only if both PDUs report the required status. If any of them fails, fencing loops back to the first fencing method, fence_ipmilan, and so on, until the node is fenced or the fencing action is cancelled.

Note

First fencing method: single IPMI device per target

Each cluster node has it own dedicated IPMI controller that can be contacted for fencing using the following primitives:

<primitive class="stonith" id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi" type="fence_ipmilan">
  <instance_attributes id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes">
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes-ipaddr" name="ipaddr" value="192.0.2.1"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes-login" name="login" value="fencing"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes-passwd" name="passwd" value="finishme"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes-lanplus" name="lanplus" value="true"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes-pcmk_host_list" name="pcmk_host_list" value="prod-mysql1"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi-instance_attributes-pcmk_delay_max" name="pcmk_delay_max" value="8s"/>
  </instance_attributes>
</primitive>
<primitive class="stonith" id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi" type="fence_ipmilan">
  <instance_attributes id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes">
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes-ipaddr" name="ipaddr" value="192.0.2.2"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes-login" name="login" value="fencing"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes-passwd" name="passwd" value="finishme"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes-lanplus" name="lanplus" value="true"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes-pcmk_host_list" name="pcmk_host_list" value="prod-mysql2"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi-instance_attributes-pcmk_delay_max" name="pcmk_delay_max" value="8s"/>
  </instance_attributes>
</primitive>

Note

Second fencing method: dual PDU devices

Each cluster node also has 2 distinct power supplies controlled by 2 distinct PDUs:

  • Node 1: PDU 1 port 10 and PDU 2 port 10
  • Node 2: PDU 1 port 11 and PDU 2 port 11

The matching fencing agents are configured as follows:

<primitive class="stonith" id="fence_apc1" type="fence_apc_snmp">
  <instance_attributes id="fence_apc1-instance_attributes">
    <nvpair id="fence_apc1-instance_attributes-ipaddr" name="ipaddr" value="198.51.100.1"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc1-instance_attributes-login" name="login" value="fencing"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc1-instance_attributes-passwd" name="passwd" value="fencing"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc1-instance_attributes-pcmk_host_list"
       name="pcmk_host_map" value="prod-mysql1:10;prod-mysql2:11"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc1-instance_attributes-pcmk_delay_max" name="pcmk_delay_max" value="8s"/>
  </instance_attributes>
</primitive>
<primitive class="stonith" id="fence_apc2" type="fence_apc_snmp">
  <instance_attributes id="fence_apc2-instance_attributes">
    <nvpair id="fence_apc2-instance_attributes-ipaddr" name="ipaddr" value="203.0.113.1"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc2-instance_attributes-login" name="login" value="fencing"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc2-instance_attributes-passwd" name="passwd" value="fencing"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc2-instance_attributes-pcmk_host_list"
       name="pcmk_host_map" value="prod-mysql1:10;prod-mysql2:11"/>
    <nvpair id="fence_apc2-instance_attributes-pcmk_delay_max" name="pcmk_delay_max" value="8s"/>
  </instance_attributes>
</primitive>

Note

Fencing topology

Now that all the fencing resources are defined, it’s time to create the right topology. We want to first fence using IPMI and if that does not work, fence both PDUs to effectively and surely kill the node.

<fencing-topology>
  <fencing-level id="level-1-1" target="prod-mysql1" index="1" devices="fence_prod-mysql1_ipmi" />
  <fencing-level id="level-1-2" target="prod-mysql1" index="2" devices="fence_apc1,fence_apc2"  />
  <fencing-level id="level-2-1" target="prod-mysql2" index="1" devices="fence_prod-mysql2_ipmi" />
  <fencing-level id="level-2-2" target="prod-mysql2" index="2" devices="fence_apc1,fence_apc2"  />
</fencing-topology>

In fencing-topology, the lowest index value for a target determines its first fencing method.

6.16. Remapping Reboots

When the cluster needs to reboot a node, whether because stonith-action is reboot or because a reboot was requested externally (such as by stonith_admin --reboot), it will remap that to other commands in two cases:

  • If the chosen fencing device does not support the reboot command, the cluster will ask it to perform off instead.
  • If a fencing topology level with multiple devices must be executed, the cluster will ask all the devices to perform off, then ask the devices to perform on.

To understand the second case, consider the example of a node with redundant power supplies connected to intelligent power switches. Rebooting one switch and then the other would have no effect on the node. Turning both switches off, and then on, actually reboots the node.

In such a case, the fencing operation will be treated as successful as long as the off commands succeed, because then it is safe for the cluster to recover any resources that were on the node. Timeouts and errors in the on phase will be logged but ignored.

When a reboot operation is remapped, any action-specific timeout for the remapped action will be used (for example, pcmk_off_timeout will be used when executing the off command, not pcmk_reboot_timeout).