I’ve been using Scaleway for a while as a platform to spin-up both personal and work machines, mainly because they’re good value and easy to use. Scaleway offers a wide selection of Aarch64 and x86 machines at various price points, however none of these VMs are replicated – not even with RAID at the hardware level – you’re expected to handle that all yourself. Since ARM servers have been making headlines for several years as a competing architecture to x86 in the data center, I thought it would be interesting to set up replication across two ARM Scaleway VMs with DRBD and LINSTOR.
It’s worth pointing out here that if you’re planning on building a production HA environment on Scaleway, you should also reach out to their support team and have them confirm that your replicated volumes aren’t actually sitting on the same spinning disk in case of drive failure, as advised in their FAQ.
First, we need a couple of VMs with additional storage volumes to replicate. The ARM64-2GB VM doesn’t allow for mounting additional volumes, so let’s go for the next one up, and add an additional 50GB LSSD volume.
I’ve gone with an Ubuntu image, if you selected an RPM-based image, substitute package manager commands accordingly. I want to run the following commands on all VMs (in my case I have two, and will be using the first as both my controller and also a satellite node).
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
In this case we’ll be deploying DRBD nodes with LINSTOR. We need DRBD9 to do this, but we can’t build a custom kernel module without first getting some prerequisite files for Scaleway’s custom kernel and preparing for a custom kernel module build. Scaleway provides a recommended script to run – we need to save that script and run it before installing DRBD9. I’ve put it in a file on github to make things simple:
$ sudo apt install -y build-essential libssl-dev $ wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/dabukalam/scalewaycustommodule/master/scalewaycustommodule $ chmod +x scalewaycustommodule && sudo ./scalewaycustommodule
Once that’s done, we can add the LINBIT community repository and install DRBD, LINSTOR, and LVM:
$ sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:linbit/linbit-drbd9-stack $ sudo apt update $ sudo apt install drbd-dkms linstor-satellite linstor-client lvm2
Now I can start the LINSTOR satellite service with:
$ sudo systemctl enable --now linstor-satellite
And make sure the VMs can see each other by adding the other node to each hosts file:
Let’s make sure LVM is running and create a volume group for LINSTOR on our additional volume:
$ systemctl enable --now lvm2-lvmetad.service $ systemctl enable --now lvm2-lvmetad.socket $ sudo vgcreate sw_ssd /dev/vdb
That’s it for commands you need to run on both nodes. From now on we’ll be running commands on our favorite VM. LINSTOR has four node types – Controller, Auxiliary, Combined, and Satellite. Since I only have two nodes, one will be Combined, and one will be a Satellite. Combined here means that the node is both a Controller and a Satellite.
Adding nodes to the LINSTOR cluster
So on our favorite VM, which we’re going to use as the combined node, we add the local host to the LINSTOR cluster as a combined node, and the other as a satellite:
$ sudo apt install -y linstor-controller $ sudo systemctl enable --now linstor-controller $ linstor node create --node-type Combined drbd-arm 10.10.43.13 $ linstor node create --node-type Satellite drbd-arm-2 10.10.25.5 $ linstor node list
It’s worth noting here that you can run commands to manage LINSTOR on any node, just make sure you have the controller node exported as a variable
drbd-arm-2:~$ export LS_CONTROLLERS=drbd-arm
You should now have something that looks like this:
Now we have our LINSTOR cluster setup, we can create a storage-pool across the nodes with the same name ‘swpool’, referencing the node name, specifying we want lvm, and the volume group name:
$ linstor storage-pool create drbd-arm swpool lvm sw_ssd $ linstor storage-pool create drbd-arm-2 swpool lvm sw_ssd
We can then define new resource and volume types, and use them to create the resource. You can perform a whole range of operations at this point including manual node placement and specifying storage pools. Since we only have one storage pool, LINSTOR will automatically select that for us. I only have two nodes so I’ll just autoplace my storage cluster across two.
$ linstor resource-definition create backups $ linstor volume-definition create backups 40G $ linstor resource create backups --auto-place 2
LINSTOR will now handle all the resource creation automagically across all our nodes, including dealing with LVM and DRBD. If all succeeds, you should now be able to see your resources. They’ll be inconsistent while DRBD syncs them up. You can also now see the DRBD resources by running drbdmon. Once it’s finished syncing you’ll see a list of your replicated nodes as below (only drbd-arm-2 in my case):
You can now mount the drive on any of the nodes and write to your new replicated storage cluster.
$ linstor resource list-volumes
In this case the device name is /dev/drbd1000, so once we create a filesystem on it and mount it I can now write to my new new replicated storage cluster.
$ sudo mkfs /dev/drbd1000 $ sudo mount /dev/drbd1000 /mnt $ sudo touch /mnt/file