The cluster interconnect is the physical configuration of devices used to transfer cluster-private communications and data service communications between cluster nodes. Because the interconnect is used extensively for cluster-private communications, it can limit performance.
Only cluster nodes can be connected to the cluster interconnect. The Sun Cluster security model assumes that only cluster nodes have physical access to the cluster interconnect.
All nodes must be connected by the cluster interconnect through at least two redundant physically independent networks, or paths, to avoid a single point of failure. You can have several physically independent networks (two to six) between any two nodes.
The cluster interconnect consists of three hardware components: adapters, junctions, and cables. The following list describes each of these hardware components.
Adapters – The network interface cards that reside in each cluster node. 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 nodes does not depend on a single network adapter.
Junctions – The switches that reside outside of the cluster nodes. Junctions perform pass-through and switching functions to enable you to connect more than two nodes. In a two-node cluster, you do not need junctions because the nodes can be directly connected to each other through redundant physical cables connected to redundant adapters on each node. Greater than two-node configurations generally require junctions.
See Chapter 4, Frequently Asked Questions for questions and answers about the cluster interconnect.