Features/VirtLockManager

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(moved to FeatureAcceptedF16 - feature was approved at 2011-07-11 meeting.)
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Virtual machines running via the QEMU/KVM platform do not currently acquire any kind of lock when starting up. This means it is possible for the same virtual machine to be accidentally started more than once, or for the same disk image to be accidentally added to two different virtual machines. The result of such a mistake is likely to be catastrophic destruction of the virtual machines filesystem.
 
Virtual machines running via the QEMU/KVM platform do not currently acquire any kind of lock when starting up. This means it is possible for the same virtual machine to be accidentally started more than once, or for the same disk image to be accidentally added to two different virtual machines. The result of such a mistake is likely to be catastrophic destruction of the virtual machines filesystem.
  
The virtual machine lock manager is a framework embedded in the libvirtd daemon that allows for pluggable locking mechanisms. Out of the box, libvirt will provide a daemon "virtlockd" that will maintain locks for all running virtual machines on a host. This will protect against adding the same disk to two different virtual machines, and protect against libvirtd bugs where it might "forget" about a previously running virtual machine. If the administrator mounts a suitable shared filesystem (eg, NFS) in /var/lib/libvirt/lockd then the lock manager protection will be extended to all hosts shared that filesystem.
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The virtual machine lock manager is a framework embedded in the libvirtd daemon that allows for pluggable locking mechanisms. The first available plugin introduced in F16, integrates with the 'sanlock' program. This will protect against adding the same disk to two different virtual machines, and protect against libvirtd bugs where it might "forget" about a previously running virtual machine. If the administrator mounts a suitable shared filesystem (eg, NFS) in /var/lib/libvirt/lockd then the lock manager protection will be extended to all hosts shared that filesystem.
  
There will also be a separate, 3rd party, lock manager implementation available called "sanlock". This is expected to be the subject of a separate Fedora feature, so will not be discussed here further.
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Later Fedora releases will introduce alternative lock manager implementations.
  
 
== Benefit to Fedora ==
 
== Benefit to Fedora ==
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== Scope ==
 
== Scope ==
The changes are confined to the libvirt package. It will include
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The changes are confined to the libvirt and sanlock packages
  
  - A new daemon 'virtlockd' with systemd service + socket files
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  - The new 'sanlock' RPM is introduced to Fedora
  - virtlockd will be enabled by default on all hosts currently running 'libvirtd'
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  - The new 'libvirt-locking-sanlock' sub-RPM is introduced to the libvirt.spec file
 
  - The /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf file will gain a configuration parameter to set the lock manager implementation
 
  - The /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf file will gain a configuration parameter to set the lock manager implementation
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- A new /etc/libvirt/qemu-sanlock.conf file is introduced for sanlock lock manager configuration
  
 
== How To Test ==
 
== How To Test ==

Revision as of 10:58, 21 September 2011

Contents

Virtual Machine Lock Manager

Summary

The virtual machine lock manager is a daemon which will ensure that a virtual machine's disk image cannot be written to by two QEMU/KVM processes at the same time. It provides protection against starting the same virtual machine twice, or adding the same disk to two different virtual machines.

Owner

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora 16
  • Last updated: 05-07-2011
  • Percentage of completion: 60%

Detailed Description

Virtual machines running via the QEMU/KVM platform do not currently acquire any kind of lock when starting up. This means it is possible for the same virtual machine to be accidentally started more than once, or for the same disk image to be accidentally added to two different virtual machines. The result of such a mistake is likely to be catastrophic destruction of the virtual machines filesystem.

The virtual machine lock manager is a framework embedded in the libvirtd daemon that allows for pluggable locking mechanisms. The first available plugin introduced in F16, integrates with the 'sanlock' program. This will protect against adding the same disk to two different virtual machines, and protect against libvirtd bugs where it might "forget" about a previously running virtual machine. If the administrator mounts a suitable shared filesystem (eg, NFS) in /var/lib/libvirt/lockd then the lock manager protection will be extended to all hosts shared that filesystem.

Later Fedora releases will introduce alternative lock manager implementations.

Benefit to Fedora

Hosts running virtual machines for QEMU/KVM will have much stronger protection against administrator host/cluster configuration mistakes. This will reduce the risk that a virtual machines' disk image will become corrupted as a result.

Scope

The changes are confined to the libvirt and sanlock packages

- The new 'sanlock' RPM is introduced to Fedora
- The new 'libvirt-locking-sanlock' sub-RPM is introduced to the libvirt.spec file
- The /etc/libvirt/qemu.conf file will gain a configuration parameter to set the lock manager implementation
- A new /etc/libvirt/qemu-sanlock.conf file is introduced for sanlock lock manager configuration

How To Test

There are no special hardware requirements for testing this feature, beyond those already required for running QEMU/KVM virtual machines.

Single host testing

- Install the standard libvirt + QEMU/KVM virtualization packages
- Provision two virtual machines
- Create a third disk image  (eg dd if=/dev/zero of=/var/lib/libvirt/images/extra.img bs=1M count=100)
- Add the following XML to the configuration of both virtual machines
     <disk type='file' device='disk'>
       <source file='/var/lib/libvirt/images/extra.img'/>
       <target dev='vdb' bus='virtio'/>
     </disk>
- Start the first virtual machine
- Attempt to start the second virtual machine

The last step should fail, with a message that the disk image is already in use.

 - Stop the first virtual machine
 - Attempt to start the second virtual machine

The second VM should now successfully run


Dual host testing

- Install the standard libvirt + QEMU/KVM virtualization packages on both hosts
- Mount an NFS volume at /var/lib/libvirt/lockd on both hosts
- Restart the virtlockd service
- Provision a virtual machine
- Copy the virtual machine configuration to the second host
        virsh dumpxml myguest > myguest.xml
        virsh -c qemu+ssh://otherhost/system define myguest.xml
- Start the virtual machine on the first host
- Attempt to start the virtual machine on the second host

The last step should fail, with a message that the disk image is already in use.

- Stop the virtual machine on the first host
- Attempt to start the virtual machine on the second host

The VM should now succesfully run on the second host

Migration testing

- As per "Dual host testing"
- Attempt to migrate the running VM from the first host to the second host

Libvirtd failure testing

- As per 'Single host testing"
- Start the first virtual machine
- Stop the libvirtd daemon, without stopping the VM
- Delete the files /var/run/libvirt/qemu/myguest.{pid,xml}  (this ophans the VM from libvirtd)
- Start the libvirtd daemon
- Attempt to start the first virtual machine again

The last step should fail, with a message that the disk image is already in use.

- Find the orphaned QEMU process and manually kill it
- Attempt to start the first virtual machine again

The VM should now once again run successfully

User Experience

End users should see no difference in behaviour of QEMU/KVM virtualization during normal operation.

They will be prevented from making certain configuration/operational mistakes which would otherwise result in the same disk image being run twice

In the event of a total virtualization host failure, the NFS server may still hold locks for the dead host which will not be released. This will prevent VMs being started on a new host. To recover from this scenario, ensure the dead host is truely dead (hardware cluster fencing agents are a good option). Then manually force the release of locks from the dead host on the NFS server.

Dependencies

The feature is confined to the 'libvirt' package

Contingency Plan

In the event of the virtlockd daemon not working as expected, the default libvirt driver configuration will be changed to use the 'nop' lock manager. This is a lock manager which does nothing, and so is equivalent to the functionality of previous Fedora releases.

Documentation

Release Notes

  • The QEMU/KVM virtualization driver in libvirt now enforces exclusive access to the virtual machine disk images on a single host. This prevents multiple guests being started with the same disk image, unless the <shareable/> flag is set for the disk
  • At administrator discretion, a shared filesystem (eg NFS) can be mounted at /var/lib/libvirt/lockd to extend the protection across multiple hosts in a network
  • If configuring locking across multiple hosts it is important to ensure that all disk image paths are globally unique across all hosts sharing the same NFS mount, and that block devices use the stable unique names under /dev/disk/by-path/ and not the unstable /dev/sdNN names

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