Clustering solution for RH Linux AS and Solaris x86/AMD 64

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# 1  
Old 03-01-2005
Clustering solution for RH Linux AS and Solaris x86/AMD 64

Dear All Experts,

Would like to know the maturity/ stability of Redhat Linux AS 3.0 and Solaris.

My organization need to setup cluster solution. We are well-versed with Veritas Cluster on Solaris.
We are thinking of waiting for certification support of the various ISV like Oracle, Veritas on Solaris 10 (x86/amd 64) OR should we jump into Redhat Linux, where most certification is available on (x86/amd 64).

But we are new to the Linux arena.
Has anyone here been into serious production mode with Redhat Linux Advanced Server with Oracle 10g and Clustering Solution like Global Filesystem?
Any issue/ pitfalls encountered?

It will be best if someone has experience with both Veritas and Linux Cluster and draw some comparision here.

Tks a lot in advance!
# 2  
Old 03-02-2005
Hi Izzy,
I have various levels of experience with Sun Cluster, Veritas Cluster, HACMP (IBM), Red Hat AS clusters, Tru64 clusters, and SuSe clusters.
My personal opinion (please don't turn this into an OS vs. OS string) is Sun is dying and linux is rising. That being said it may still not be time for you to jump ship yet.
Wait until RH releases the Cluster Suite and GFS for RHAS 4.0 then get a copy to play with. RHAS 4.0 includes LVM and has an LVM gui which may make it easier to transition between Veritas terminalogy and Red Hat LVM. Red Hat's LVM is very similar to HP's LVM. RHAS 3.0 has LVM but it only gives you a GUI during the install. This may or may not be a problem for you. After the install it's all command line.
I have a few clusters running OCFS and GFS. My preference from the sysadmin side is for GFS because it too contains some LVM type features that allow you to grow the size of pools dynamically. Both GFS and OCFS were tough to install and configure when they were first released but they have both gotten better. OCFS is actually pretty easy to install and configure at this point. GFS is a little more cumbersome because you have to define the fencing mechanisms, nodes, and pools. Once you figure it out it is not so bad.
The only show stopper type of gotcha I have run into with RHAS clusters, OCFS, and GFS is a bug in GFS where the first 8 characters of the hostname must be unique. This is not fixed as of GFS 6 Update 4 but RH has told me it will be fixed in the next major release (6.1?). The only way I got around this was to rename my machines.
With the Veritas cluster we had a storage compatiblity issue with our HP VA 7410. We switched the storage to a SUN T3 and got around that problem.
Other then those two issues both have been pretty stable. RH will end up being cheaper becuase you don't have to pay for Veritas. The hardware and OS costs probably won't change much from Sun.
We have multiple RHAS clusters from versions 2.1 to 4.0 with 2,3, and 4 nodes. We have several clusters running 9i RAC and 10g ASM on the same machine using ext3, RAW (and ASM managed RAW), OCFS, and GFS without a problem.

Bottom line - RHAS 3.0 was really starting to be a solid production level clustering system. RHAS 4.0 appear to be even better (but I am still waiting for cluster suite and GFS).

If anyone wants working samples of the config files for GFS just post back and I will open a new thread with them.

# 3  
Old 03-02-2005
Tks a lot for the advise.

I have a couple questions:

1) When will RHAS 4.0 + Cluster Suite and GFS be out?
2) Is there any white paper/ tutorial I can refer to for the RHAS LVM?
3) Any limitations of this RHAS LVM compared to Veritas VxVM?
4) Is there any white paper/ tutorial I can refer to for the RHAS Cluster Suite + GFS?
4) The comparsion of RHAS Cluster Suite and Veritas Cluster Suite in terms of limitations and architecture, implementations

NB: I am a supporter of the open source movement BUT my organisation has been skeptical of open-source ware's ability to be ENTERPRISE. It is more of a mental block. And any advice you can give to get over this mental block, apart from the cost. Most company dun mind paying thr' the nose for Enterprise Software.
# 4  
Old 03-03-2005 has a lot of the info you are looking for, just dig around the docs and whitepapers. I have not seen a firm date for the release of cluster suite or GFS but I haven't spent a lot of time looking. I would imagine it would be soon, especially for Cluster Suite.

RHAS 3.0 was right on the edge of being what I would consider an enterprise OS. RHAS 4.0 with the 2.6 kernel and a few other features have pushed it into that category for me. The best part is the OS out of the box has the features you need. You don't need to buy Veritas, OnlineJFS, mulipathing software, or anything else to make it viable.

Convincing management to go to linux is a task. I have had several discussions. I think in the next few years it will become easier. We are really just at the beginning of major acceptance of linux in the enterprise, at least for apps other then web, mail, dns, and printing.

Market survey info should give you enough info to show the trend is heading toward linux. It has scared IBM and Sun enough to adapt a linux methodology to their OSes. Solaris is opensource and know you just pay for support (sounds just like Red Hat and SuSe). AIX has some linux features like RPM.

The biggest point that comes up in coversations I have had with managment is that hardware becomes the commodity. If you are running on HP and don't like it, it's easy to switch to IBM without switching OS. You can't do that with HPUX, Solaris, or AIX.

Sooner or later Linux/opensource will be the reality.
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