High-Availability Storage With GlusterFS 3.2.x On Ubuntu 12.04 - Automatic File Replication (Mirror) Across Two Storage Servers

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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Last edited 05/29/2012

This tutorial shows how to set up a high-availability storage with two storage servers (Ubuntu 12.04) that use GlusterFS. Each storage server will be a mirror of the other storage server, and files will be replicated automatically across both storage servers. The client system (Ubuntu 12.04 as well) will be able to access the storage as if it was a local filesystem. GlusterFS is a clustered file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes. It aggregates various storage bricks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect into one large parallel network file system. Storage bricks can be made of any commodity hardware such as x86_64 servers with SATA-II RAID and Infiniband HBA.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use three systems, two servers and a client:

  • server1.example.com: IP address (server)
  • server2.example.com: IP address (server)
  • client1.example.com: IP address (client)

Because we will run all the steps from this tutorial with root privileges, we can either prepend all commands in this tutorial with the string sudo, or we become root right now by typing

sudo su

All three systems should be able to resolve the other systems' hostnames. If this cannot be done through DNS, you should edit the /etc/hosts file so that it looks as follows on all three systems:

vi /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost   server1.example.com     server1   server2.example.com     server2   client1.example.com     client1

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

(It is also possible to use IP addresses instead of hostnames in the following setup. If you prefer to use IP addresses, you don't have to care about whether the hostnames can be resolved or not.)


2 Setting Up The GlusterFS Servers


GlusterFS is available as a package for Ubuntu 12.04, therefore we can install it as follows:

apt-get install glusterfs-server

The command

glusterfsd --version

should now show the GlusterFS version that you've just installed (3.2.5 in this case):

root@server1:~# glusterfsd --version
glusterfs 3.2.5 built on Jan 31 2012 07:39:58
Repository revision: git://git.gluster.com/glusterfs.git
Copyright (c) 2006-2011 Gluster Inc. <http://www.gluster.com>
You may redistribute copies of GlusterFS under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

If you use a firewall, ensure that TCP ports 111, 24007, 24008, 24009-(24009 + number of bricks across all volumes) are open on server1.example.com and server2.example.com.

Next we must add server2.example.com to the trusted storage pool (please note that I'm running all GlusterFS configuration commands from server1.example.com, but you can as well run them from server2.example.com because the configuration is repliacted between the GlusterFS nodes - just make sure you use the correct hostnames or IP addresses):


On server1.example.com, run

gluster peer probe server2.example.com

root@server1:~# gluster peer probe server2.example.com
Probe successful

The status of the trusted storage pool should now be similar to this:

gluster peer status

root@server1:~# gluster peer status
Number of Peers: 1

Hostname: server2.example.com
Uuid: 7cd93007-fccb-4fcb-8063-133e6ba81cd9
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)

Next we create the share named testvol with two replicas (please note that the number of replicas is equal to the number of servers in this case because we want to set up mirroring) on server1.example.com and server2.example.com in the /data directory (this will be created if it doesn't exist):

gluster volume create testvol replica 2 transport tcp server1.example.com:/data server2.example.com:/data

root@server1:~# gluster volume create testvol replica 2 transport tcp server1.example.com:/data server2.example.com:/data
Creation of volume testvol has been successful. Please start the volume to access data.

Start the volume:

gluster volume start testvol

It is possible that the above command tells you that the action was not successful:

root@server1:~# gluster volume start testvol
Starting volume testvol has been unsuccessful

In this case you should check the output of...


netstat -tap | grep glusterfsd

on both servers.

If you get output like this...

root@server1:~# netstat -tap | grep glusterfsd
tcp        0      0 *:24009                 *:*                     LISTEN      1548/glusterfsd
tcp        0      0 localhost.localdom:1019 localhost.localdo:24007 ESTABLISHED 1548/glusterfsd

... everything is fine, but if you don't get any output...

root@server2:~# netstat -tap | grep glusterfsd

... restart the GlusterFS daemon on the corresponding server (server2.example.com in this case):


/etc/init.d/glusterfs-server restart

Then check the output of...

netstat -tap | grep glusterfsd

... again on that server - it should now look like this:

root@server2:~# netstat -tap | grep glusterfsd
tcp        0      0 *:24010                 *:*                     LISTEN      1458/glusterfsd
tcp        0      0 localhost.localdom:1021 localhost.localdo:24007 ESTABLISHED 1458/glusterfsd

Now back to server1.example.com:


You can check the status of the volume with the command

gluster volume info

root@server1:~# gluster volume info

Volume Name: testvol
Type: Replicate
Status: Started
Number of Bricks: 2
Transport-type: tcp
Brick1: server1.example.com:/data
Brick2: server2.example.com:/data

By default, all clients can connect to the volume. If you want to grant access to client1.example.com (= only, run:

gluster volume set testvol auth.allow

Please note that it is possible to use wildcards for the IP addresses (like 192.168.*) and that you can specify multiple IP addresses separated by comma (e.g.,

The volume info should now show the updated status:

gluster volume info

root@server1:~# gluster volume info

Volume Name: testvol
Type: Replicate
Status: Started
Number of Bricks: 2
Transport-type: tcp
Brick1: server1.example.com:/data
Brick2: server2.example.com:/data
Options Reconfigured:

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6 Comment(s)

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From: David L. Willson at: 2012-12-12 17:21:26

I've used your tutorial twice now. Once at work, to setup a 4 node demo, and again last night, to do a hands-on interactive demo of a 7-node Gluster cluster. (We meant to have 8, but something was wrong with the david node.)

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for the simple, useful article.

From: Anonymous at: 2012-06-14 09:34:52

Is it possible to just have two mirror replicating nodes? And then there is no need to install gluster-client.

From: Anonymous at: 2012-08-09 18:15:29

Same question. Please this is possible?

From: at: 2012-08-22 11:38:58

It's possible but recently saw this on the gluster forums  http://community.gluster.org/q/can-i-access-brick-directories-directly/ too bad he didn't give any further explanation as to why its not recommended.

From: psiek at: 2012-10-09 11:29:58

Many thanks for this tutorial, it worked like a charm. I tested with two mirrors client on the same servers, that permitted me to remove a CIFS mount and saved so many time. Thanks again. Kind regards, Philippe

From: Reza at: 2012-11-29 10:18:33

As per questions subject header.. is it possible to do that? Plus, i didnt quite understand about the beginning of the setup, what is the setup for the ubuntu 12.04 needed?