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Cluster Majority Quorum and Spares


Kyle Kennedy

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As background, we have set up an L2 VPX cluster on top of 2 VMWare ESX hosts - 3 VPX nodes on each host. We have played around with the configuration and combination of Active nodes and Spare nodes, but no matter what we do if we take down a host (which happened in production with a hardware failure) the entire cluster goes down. This is because of the way quorum is calculated: n/2 + 1 nodes needed to be up for cluster to be up. So the question is:

 

What's the point in having nodes set up as Spares, when they count towards the total 'n' count for majority?

 

We figured that we could set up some spare nodes to be backup for if a host shuts down unexpectedly, but it seems in order for a cluster to actually work we'd need 3 or more hosts. With Spare nodes counting towards the majority calculation, we wonder if Spares are any use at all, and if we shouldn't just set them up as Active. It seems maybe Spare has a place with L3 clustering and node groups, but not sure what kind of use they have for L2

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