The cluster interconnect is the physical configuration of devices that is used to transfer cluster-private communications and data service communications between Solaris hosts in the cluster. Because the interconnect is used extensively for cluster-private communications, it can limit performance.
Only hosts in the cluster can be connected to the cluster interconnect. The Sun Cluster security model assumes that only cluster hosts have physical access to the cluster interconnect.
You can set up from one to six cluster interconnects in a cluster. While a single cluster interconnect reduces the number of adapter ports that are used for the private interconnect, it provides no redundancy and less availability. If a single interconnect fails, moreover, the cluster is at a higher risk of having to perform automatic recovery. Whenever possible, install two or more cluster interconnects to provide redundancy and scalability, and therefore higher availability, by avoiding a single point of failure.
Adapters – The network interface cards that are located in each cluster host. Their names are constructed from a device name immediately followed by a physical-unit number, for example, qfe2. Some adapters have only one physical network connection, but others, like the qfe card, have multiple physical connections. Some adapters also contain both network interfaces and storage interfaces.
A network adapter with multiple interfaces could become a single point of failure if the entire adapter fails. For maximum availability, plan your cluster so that the only path between two hosts does not depend on a single network adapter.
Junctions – The switches that are located outside of the cluster hosts. Junctions perform pass-through and switching functions to enable you to connect more than two hosts. In a two-host cluster, you do not need junctions because the hosts can be directly connected to each other through redundant physical cables connected to redundant adapters on each host. Greater than two-host configurations generally require junctions.
See Chapter 4, Frequently Asked Questions for questions and answers about the cluster interconnect.