5. Resource Constraints

5.1. Scores

Scores of all kinds are integral to how the cluster works. Practically everything from moving a resource to deciding which resource to stop in a degraded cluster is achieved by manipulating scores in some way.

Scores are calculated per resource and node. Any node with a negative score for a resource can’t run that resource. The cluster places a resource on the node with the highest score for it.

5.1.1. Infinity Math

Pacemaker implements INFINITY (or equivalently, +INFINITY) internally as a score of 1,000,000. Addition and subtraction with it follow these three basic rules:

  • Any value + INFINITY = INFINITY
  • Any value - INFINITY = -INFINITY
  • INFINITY - INFINITY = -INFINITY

Note

What if you want to use a score higher than 1,000,000? Typically this possibility arises when someone wants to base the score on some external metric that might go above 1,000,000.

The short answer is you can’t.

The long answer is it is sometimes possible work around this limitation creatively. You may be able to set the score to some computed value based on the external metric rather than use the metric directly. For nodes, you can store the metric as a node attribute, and query the attribute when computing the score (possibly as part of a custom resource agent).

5.2. Deciding Which Nodes a Resource Can Run On

Location constraints tell the cluster which nodes a resource can run on.

There are two alternative strategies. One way is to say that, by default, resources can run anywhere, and then the location constraints specify nodes that are not allowed (an opt-out cluster). The other way is to start with nothing able to run anywhere, and use location constraints to selectively enable allowed nodes (an opt-in cluster).

Whether you should choose opt-in or opt-out depends on your personal preference and the make-up of your cluster. If most of your resources can run on most of the nodes, then an opt-out arrangement is likely to result in a simpler configuration. On the other-hand, if most resources can only run on a small subset of nodes, an opt-in configuration might be simpler.

5.2.1. Location Properties

Attributes of a rsc_location Element
Attribute Default Description
id  

A unique name for the constraint (required)

rsc  

The name of the resource to which this constraint applies. A location constraint must either have a rsc, have a rsc-pattern, or contain at least one resource set.

rsc-pattern  

A pattern matching the names of resources to which this constraint applies. The syntax is the same as POSIX extended regular expressions, with the addition of an initial ! indicating that resources not matching the pattern are selected. If the regular expression contains submatches, and the constraint is governed by a rule, the submatches can be referenced as %1 through %9 in the rule’s score-attribute or a rule expression’s attribute. A location constraint must either have a rsc, have a rsc-pattern, or contain at least one resource set.

node  

The name of the node to which this constraint applies. A location constraint must either have a node and score, or contain at least one rule.

score  

Positive values indicate a preference for running the affected resource(s) on node – the higher the value, the stronger the preference. Negative values indicate the resource(s) should avoid this node (a value of -INFINITY changes “should” to “must”). A location constraint must either have a node and score, or contain at least one rule.

resource-discovery always

Whether Pacemaker should perform resource discovery (that is, check whether the resource is already running) for this resource on this node. This should normally be left as the default, so that rogue instances of a service can be stopped when they are running where they are not supposed to be. However, there are two situations where disabling resource discovery is a good idea: when a service is not installed on a node, discovery might return an error (properly written OCF agents will not, so this is usually only seen with other agent types); and when Pacemaker Remote is used to scale a cluster to hundreds of nodes, limiting resource discovery to allowed nodes can significantly boost performance.

  • always: Always perform resource discovery for the specified resource on this node.
  • never: Never perform resource discovery for the specified resource on this node. This option should generally be used with a -INFINITY score, although that is not strictly required.
  • exclusive: Perform resource discovery for the specified resource only on this node (and other nodes similarly marked as exclusive). Multiple location constraints using exclusive discovery for the same resource across different nodes creates a subset of nodes resource-discovery is exclusive to. If a resource is marked for exclusive discovery on one or more nodes, that resource is only allowed to be placed within that subset of nodes.

Warning

Setting resource-discovery to never or exclusive removes Pacemaker’s ability to detect and stop unwanted instances of a service running where it’s not supposed to be. It is up to the system administrator (you!) to make sure that the service can never be active on nodes without resource-discovery (such as by leaving the relevant software uninstalled).

5.2.2. Asymmetrical “Opt-In” Clusters

To create an opt-in cluster, start by preventing resources from running anywhere by default:

# crm_attribute --name symmetric-cluster --update false

Then start enabling nodes. The following fragment says that the web server prefers sles-1, the database prefers sles-2 and both can fail over to sles-3 if their most preferred node fails.

Opt-in location constraints for two resources

<constraints>
    <rsc_location id="loc-1" rsc="Webserver" node="sles-1" score="200"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-2" rsc="Webserver" node="sles-3" score="0"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-3" rsc="Database" node="sles-2" score="200"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-4" rsc="Database" node="sles-3" score="0"/>
</constraints>

5.2.3. Symmetrical “Opt-Out” Clusters

To create an opt-out cluster, start by allowing resources to run anywhere by default:

# crm_attribute --name symmetric-cluster --update true

Then start disabling nodes. The following fragment is the equivalent of the above opt-in configuration.

Opt-out location constraints for two resources

<constraints>
    <rsc_location id="loc-1" rsc="Webserver" node="sles-1" score="200"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-2-do-not-run" rsc="Webserver" node="sles-2" score="-INFINITY"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-3-do-not-run" rsc="Database" node="sles-1" score="-INFINITY"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-4" rsc="Database" node="sles-2" score="200"/>
</constraints>

5.2.4. What if Two Nodes Have the Same Score

If two nodes have the same score, then the cluster will choose one. This choice may seem random and may not be what was intended, however the cluster was not given enough information to know any better.

Constraints where a resource prefers two nodes equally

<constraints>
    <rsc_location id="loc-1" rsc="Webserver" node="sles-1" score="INFINITY"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-2" rsc="Webserver" node="sles-2" score="INFINITY"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-3" rsc="Database" node="sles-1" score="500"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-4" rsc="Database" node="sles-2" score="300"/>
    <rsc_location id="loc-5" rsc="Database" node="sles-2" score="200"/>
</constraints>

In the example above, assuming no other constraints and an inactive cluster, Webserver would probably be placed on sles-1 and Database on sles-2. It would likely have placed Webserver based on the node’s uname and Database based on the desire to spread the resource load evenly across the cluster. However other factors can also be involved in more complex configurations.

5.3. Specifying the Order in which Resources Should Start/Stop

Ordering constraints tell the cluster the order in which certain resource actions should occur.

Important

Ordering constraints affect only the ordering of resource actions; they do not require that the resources be placed on the same node. If you want resources to be started on the same node and in a specific order, you need both an ordering constraint and a colocation constraint (see Placing Resources Relative to other Resources), or alternatively, a group (see Groups - A Syntactic Shortcut).

5.3.1. Ordering Properties

Attributes of a rsc_order Element
Field Default Description
id  

A unique name for the constraint

first  

Name of the resource that the then resource depends on

then  

Name of the dependent resource

first-action start

The action that the first resource must complete before then-action can be initiated for the then resource. Allowed values: start, stop, promote, demote.

then-action value of first-action

The action that the then resource can execute only after the first-action on the first resource has completed. Allowed values: start, stop, promote, demote.

kind Mandatory

How to enforce the constraint. Allowed values:

  • Mandatory: then-action will never be initiated for the then resource unless and until first-action successfully completes for the first resource.
  • Optional: The constraint applies only if both specified resource actions are scheduled in the same transition (that is, in response to the same cluster state). This means that then-action is allowed on the then resource regardless of the state of the first resource, but if both actions happen to be scheduled at the same time, they will be ordered.
  • Serialize: Ensure that the specified actions are never performed concurrently for the specified resources. First-action and then-action can be executed in either order, but one must complete before the other can be initiated. An example use case is when resource start-up puts a high load on the host.
symmetrical TRUE for Mandatory and Optional kinds. FALSE for Serialize kind.

If true, the reverse of the constraint applies for the opposite action (for example, if B starts after A starts, then B stops before A stops). Serialize orders cannot be symmetrical.

Promote and demote apply to promotable clone resources.

5.3.2. Optional and mandatory ordering

Here is an example of ordering constraints where Database must start before Webserver, and IP should start before Webserver if they both need to be started:

Optional and mandatory ordering constraints

<constraints>
    <rsc_order id="order-1" first="IP" then="Webserver" kind="Optional"/>
    <rsc_order id="order-2" first="Database" then="Webserver" kind="Mandatory" />
</constraints>

Because the above example lets symmetrical default to TRUE, Webserver must be stopped before Database can be stopped, and Webserver should be stopped before IP if they both need to be stopped.

5.4. Placing Resources Relative to other Resources

Colocation constraints tell the cluster that the location of one resource depends on the location of another one.

Colocation has an important side-effect: it affects the order in which resources are assigned to a node. Think about it: You can’t place A relative to B unless you know where B is [1].

So when you are creating colocation constraints, it is important to consider whether you should colocate A with B, or B with A.

Important

Colocation constraints affect only the placement of resources; they do not require that the resources be started in a particular order. If you want resources to be started on the same node and in a specific order, you need both an ordering constraint (see Specifying the Order in which Resources Should Start/Stop) and a colocation constraint, or alternatively, a group (see Groups - A Syntactic Shortcut).

5.4.1. Colocation Properties

Attributes of a rsc_colocation Constraint
Field Default Description
id  

A unique name for the constraint (required).

rsc  

The name of a resource that should be located relative to with-rsc. A colocation constraint must either contain at least one resource set, or specify both rsc and with-rsc.

with-rsc  

The name of the resource used as the colocation target. The cluster will decide where to put this resource first and then decide where to put rsc. A colocation constraint must either contain at least one resource set, or specify both rsc and with-rsc.

node-attribute #uname

If rsc and with-rsc are specified, this node attribute must be the same on the node running rsc and the node running with-rsc for the constraint to be satisfied. (For details, see Colocation by Node Attribute.)

score 0

Positive values indicate the resources should run on the same node. Negative values indicate the resources should run on different nodes. Values of +/- INFINITY change “should” to “must”.

rsc-role Started

If rsc and with-rsc are specified, and rsc is a promotable clone, the constraint applies only to rsc instances in this role. Allowed values: Started, Promoted, Unpromoted. For details, see Promotable Clone Constraints.

with-rsc-role Started

If rsc and with-rsc are specified, and with-rsc is a promotable clone, the constraint applies only to with-rsc instances in this role. Allowed values: Started, Promoted, Unpromoted. For details, see Promotable Clone Constraints.

influence value of critical meta-attribute for rsc

Whether to consider the location preferences of rsc when with-rsc is already active. Allowed values: true, false. For details, see Colocation Influence. (since 2.1.0)

5.4.2. Mandatory Placement

Mandatory placement occurs when the constraint’s score is +INFINITY or -INFINITY. In such cases, if the constraint can’t be satisfied, then the rsc resource is not permitted to run. For score=INFINITY, this includes cases where the with-rsc resource is not active.

If you need resource A to always run on the same machine as resource B, you would add the following constraint:

Mandatory colocation constraint for two resources

<rsc_colocation id="colocate" rsc="A" with-rsc="B" score="INFINITY"/>

Remember, because INFINITY was used, if B can’t run on any of the cluster nodes (for whatever reason) then A will not be allowed to run. Whether A is running or not has no effect on B.

Alternatively, you may want the opposite – that A cannot run on the same machine as B. In this case, use score="-INFINITY".

Mandatory anti-colocation constraint for two resources

<rsc_colocation id="anti-colocate" rsc="A" with-rsc="B" score="-INFINITY"/>

Again, by specifying -INFINITY, the constraint is binding. So if the only place left to run is where B already is, then A may not run anywhere.

As with INFINITY, B can run even if A is stopped. However, in this case A also can run if B is stopped, because it still meets the constraint of A and B not running on the same node.

5.4.3. Advisory Placement

If mandatory placement is about “must” and “must not”, then advisory placement is the “I’d prefer if” alternative. For constraints with scores greater than -INFINITY and less than INFINITY, the cluster will try to accommodate your wishes but may ignore them if the alternative is to stop some of the cluster resources.

As in life, where if enough people prefer something it effectively becomes mandatory, advisory colocation constraints can combine with other elements of the configuration to behave as if they were mandatory.

Advisory colocation constraint for two resources

<rsc_colocation id="colocate-maybe" rsc="A" with-rsc="B" score="500"/>

5.4.4. Colocation by Node Attribute

The node-attribute property of a colocation constraints allows you to express the requirement, “these resources must be on similar nodes”.

As an example, imagine that you have two Storage Area Networks (SANs) that are not controlled by the cluster, and each node is connected to one or the other. You may have two resources r1 and r2 such that r2 needs to use the same SAN as r1, but doesn’t necessarily have to be on the same exact node. In such a case, you could define a node attribute named san, with the value san1 or san2 on each node as appropriate. Then, you could colocate r2 with r1 using node-attribute set to san.

5.4.5. Colocation Influence

By default, if A is colocated with B, the cluster will take into account A’s preferences when deciding where to place B, to maximize the chance that both resources can run.

For a detailed look at exactly how this occurs, see Colocation Explained.

However, if influence is set to false in the colocation constraint, this will happen only if B is inactive and needing to be started. If B is already active, A’s preferences will have no effect on placing B.

An example of what effect this would have and when it would be desirable would be a nonessential reporting tool colocated with a resource-intensive service that takes a long time to start. If the reporting tool fails enough times to reach its migration threshold, by default the cluster will want to move both resources to another node if possible. Setting influence to false on the colocation constraint would mean that the reporting tool would be stopped in this situation instead, to avoid forcing the service to move.

The critical resource meta-attribute is a convenient way to specify the default for all colocation constraints and groups involving a particular resource.

Note

If a noncritical resource is a member of a group, all later members of the group will be treated as noncritical, even if they are marked as (or left to default to) critical.

5.5. Resource Sets

Resource sets allow multiple resources to be affected by a single constraint.

A set of 3 resources

<resource_set id="resource-set-example">
    <resource_ref id="A"/>
    <resource_ref id="B"/>
    <resource_ref id="C"/>
</resource_set>

Resource sets are valid inside rsc_location, rsc_order (see Ordering Sets of Resources), rsc_colocation (see Colocating Sets of Resources), and rsc_ticket (see Configuring Ticket Dependencies) constraints.

A resource set has a number of properties that can be set, though not all have an effect in all contexts.

Attributes of a resource_set Element

Field Default Description
id  

A unique name for the set (required)

sequential true

Whether the members of the set must be acted on in order. Meaningful within rsc_order and rsc_colocation.

require-all true

Whether all members of the set must be active before continuing. With the current implementation, the cluster may continue even if only one member of the set is started, but if more than one member of the set is starting at the same time, the cluster will still wait until all of those have started before continuing (this may change in future versions). Meaningful within rsc_order.

role  

The constraint applies only to resource set members that are Promotable clones in this role. Meaningful within rsc_location, rsc_colocation and rsc_ticket. Allowed values: Started, Promoted, Unpromoted. For details, see Promotable Clone Constraints.

action value of first-action in the enclosing ordering constraint

The action that applies to all members of the set. Meaningful within rsc_order. Allowed values: start, stop, promote, demote.

score  

Advanced use only. Use a specific score for this set within the constraint.

5.6. Ordering Sets of Resources

A common situation is for an administrator to create a chain of ordered resources, such as:

A chain of ordered resources

<constraints>
    <rsc_order id="order-1" first="A" then="B" />
    <rsc_order id="order-2" first="B" then="C" />
    <rsc_order id="order-3" first="C" then="D" />
</constraints>

Visual representation of the four resources’ start order for the above constraints

Ordered set

5.6.1. Ordered Set

To simplify this situation, Resource Sets can be used within ordering constraints:

A chain of ordered resources expressed as a set

<constraints>
    <rsc_order id="order-1">
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-example" sequential="true">
        <resource_ref id="A"/>
        <resource_ref id="B"/>
        <resource_ref id="C"/>
        <resource_ref id="D"/>
      </resource_set>
    </rsc_order>
</constraints>

While the set-based format is not less verbose, it is significantly easier to get right and maintain.

Important

If you use a higher-level tool, pay attention to how it exposes this functionality. Depending on the tool, creating a set A B may be equivalent to A then B, or B then A.

5.6.2. Ordering Multiple Sets

The syntax can be expanded to allow sets of resources to be ordered relative to each other, where the members of each individual set may be ordered or unordered (controlled by the sequential property). In the example below, A and B can both start in parallel, as can C and D, however C and D can only start once both A and B are active.

Ordered sets of unordered resources

<constraints>
    <rsc_order id="order-1">
        <resource_set id="ordered-set-1" sequential="false">
            <resource_ref id="A"/>
            <resource_ref id="B"/>
        </resource_set>
        <resource_set id="ordered-set-2" sequential="false">
            <resource_ref id="C"/>
            <resource_ref id="D"/>
        </resource_set>
    </rsc_order>
</constraints>

Visual representation of the start order for two ordered sets of unordered resources

Two ordered sets

Of course either set – or both sets – of resources can also be internally ordered (by setting sequential="true") and there is no limit to the number of sets that can be specified.

Advanced use of set ordering - Three ordered sets, two of which are internally unordered

<constraints>
    <rsc_order id="order-1">
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-1" sequential="false">
        <resource_ref id="A"/>
        <resource_ref id="B"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-2" sequential="true">
        <resource_ref id="C"/>
        <resource_ref id="D"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-3" sequential="false">
        <resource_ref id="E"/>
        <resource_ref id="F"/>
      </resource_set>
    </rsc_order>
</constraints>

Visual representation of the start order for the three sets defined above

Three ordered sets

Important

An ordered set with sequential=false makes sense only if there is another set in the constraint. Otherwise, the constraint has no effect.

5.6.3. Resource Set OR Logic

The unordered set logic discussed so far has all been “AND” logic. To illustrate this take the 3 resource set figure in the previous section. Those sets can be expressed, (A and B) then (C) then (D) then (E and F).

Say for example we want to change the first set, (A and B), to use “OR” logic so the sets look like this: (A or B) then (C) then (D) then (E and F). This functionality can be achieved through the use of the require-all option. This option defaults to TRUE which is why the “AND” logic is used by default. Setting require-all=false means only one resource in the set needs to be started before continuing on to the next set.

Resource Set “OR” logic: Three ordered sets, where the first set is internally unordered with “OR” logic

<constraints>
    <rsc_order id="order-1">
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-1" sequential="false" require-all="false">
        <resource_ref id="A"/>
        <resource_ref id="B"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-2" sequential="true">
        <resource_ref id="C"/>
        <resource_ref id="D"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="ordered-set-3" sequential="false">
        <resource_ref id="E"/>
        <resource_ref id="F"/>
      </resource_set>
    </rsc_order>
</constraints>

Important

An ordered set with require-all=false makes sense only in conjunction with sequential=false. Think of it like this: sequential=false modifies the set to be an unordered set using “AND” logic by default, and adding require-all=false flips the unordered set’s “AND” logic to “OR” logic.

5.7. Colocating Sets of Resources

Another common situation is for an administrator to create a set of colocated resources.

The simplest way to do this is to define a resource group (see Groups - A Syntactic Shortcut), but that cannot always accurately express the desired relationships. For example, maybe the resources do not need to be ordered.

Another way would be to define each relationship as an individual constraint, but that causes a difficult-to-follow constraint explosion as the number of resources and combinations grow.

Colocation chain as individual constraints, where A is placed first, then B, then C, then D

<constraints>
    <rsc_colocation id="coloc-1" rsc="D" with-rsc="C" score="INFINITY"/>
    <rsc_colocation id="coloc-2" rsc="C" with-rsc="B" score="INFINITY"/>
    <rsc_colocation id="coloc-3" rsc="B" with-rsc="A" score="INFINITY"/>
</constraints>

To express complicated relationships with a simplified syntax [2], resource sets can be used within colocation constraints.

Equivalent colocation chain expressed using resource_set

<constraints>
    <rsc_colocation id="coloc-1" score="INFINITY" >
      <resource_set id="colocated-set-example" sequential="true">
        <resource_ref id="A"/>
        <resource_ref id="B"/>
        <resource_ref id="C"/>
        <resource_ref id="D"/>
      </resource_set>
    </rsc_colocation>
</constraints>

Note

Within a resource_set, the resources are listed in the order they are placed, which is the reverse of the order in which they are colocated. In the above example, resource A is placed before resource B, which is the same as saying resource B is colocated with resource A.

As with individual constraints, a resource that can’t be active prevents any resource that must be colocated with it from being active. In both of the two previous examples, if B is unable to run, then both C and by inference D must remain stopped.

Important

If you use a higher-level tool, pay attention to how it exposes this functionality. Depending on the tool, creating a set A B may be equivalent to A with B, or B with A.

Resource sets can also be used to tell the cluster that entire sets of resources must be colocated relative to each other, while the individual members within any one set may or may not be colocated relative to each other (determined by the set’s sequential property).

In the following example, resources B, C, and D will each be colocated with A (which will be placed first). A must be able to run in order for any of the resources to run, but any of B, C, or D may be stopped without affecting any of the others.

Using colocated sets to specify a shared dependency

<constraints>
    <rsc_colocation id="coloc-1" score="INFINITY" >
      <resource_set id="colocated-set-2" sequential="false">
        <resource_ref id="B"/>
        <resource_ref id="C"/>
        <resource_ref id="D"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="colocated-set-1" sequential="true">
        <resource_ref id="A"/>
      </resource_set>
    </rsc_colocation>
</constraints>

Note

Pay close attention to the order in which resources and sets are listed. While the members of any one sequential set are placed first to last (i.e., the colocation dependency is last with first), multiple sets are placed last to first (i.e. the colocation dependency is first with last).

Important

A colocated set with sequential="false" makes sense only if there is another set in the constraint. Otherwise, the constraint has no effect.

There is no inherent limit to the number and size of the sets used. The only thing that matters is that in order for any member of one set in the constraint to be active, all members of sets listed after it must also be active (and naturally on the same node); and if a set has sequential="true", then in order for one member of that set to be active, all members listed before it must also be active.

If desired, you can restrict the dependency to instances of promotable clone resources that are in a specific role, using the set’s role property.

Colocation in which the members of the middle set have no interdependencies, and the last set listed applies only to promoted instances

<constraints>
    <rsc_colocation id="coloc-1" score="INFINITY" >
      <resource_set id="colocated-set-1" sequential="true">
        <resource_ref id="F"/>
        <resource_ref id="G"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="colocated-set-2" sequential="false">
        <resource_ref id="C"/>
        <resource_ref id="D"/>
        <resource_ref id="E"/>
      </resource_set>
      <resource_set id="colocated-set-3" sequential="true" role="Promoted">
        <resource_ref id="A"/>
        <resource_ref id="B"/>
      </resource_set>
    </rsc_colocation>
</constraints>

Visual representation of the above example (resources are placed from left to right)

Colocation chain

Note

Unlike ordered sets, colocated sets do not use the require-all option.

[1]While the human brain is sophisticated enough to read the constraint in any order and choose the correct one depending on the situation, the cluster is not quite so smart. Yet.
[2]which is not the same as saying easy to follow