Sun Cluster 3.1 Concepts Guide

Using the Cluster Interconnect for Data Service Traffic

A cluster must have multiple network connections between nodes, forming the cluster interconnect. The clustering software uses multiple interconnects both for high availability and to improve performance. For internal traffic (for example, file system data or scalable services data), messages are striped across all available interconnects in a round-robin fashion.

The cluster interconnect is also available to applications, for highly available communication between nodes. For example, a distributed application might have components running on different nodes that need to communicate. By using the cluster interconnect rather than the public transport, these connections can withstand the failure of an individual link.

To use the cluster interconnect for communication between nodes, an application must use the private hostnames configured when the cluster was installed. For example, if the private hostname for node 1 is clusternode1-priv, use that name to communicate over the cluster interconnect to node 1. TCP sockets opened using this name are routed over the cluster interconnect and can be transparently re-routed in the event of network failure.

Note that because the private hostnames can be configured during installation, the cluster interconnect can use any name chosen at that time. The actual name can be obtained from scha_cluster_get(3HA) with the scha_privatelink_hostname_node argument.

For application-level use of the cluster interconnect, a single interconnect is used between each pair of nodes, but separate interconnects are used for different node pairs, if possible. For example, consider an application running on three nodes and communicating over the cluster interconnect. Communication between nodes 1 and 2 might take place on interface hme0, while communication between nodes 1 and 3 might take place on interface qfe1. That is, application communication between any two nodes is limited to a single interconnect, while internal clustering communication is striped over all interconnects.

Note that the application shares the interconnect with internal clustering traffic, so the bandwidth available to the application depends on the bandwidth used for other clustering traffic. In the event of a failure, internal traffic can round-robin over the remaining interconnects, while application connections on a failed interconnect can switch to a working interconnect.

Two types of addresses support the cluster interconnect, and gethostbyname(3N) on a private hostname normally returns two IP addresses. The first address is called the logical pairwise address, and the second address is called the logical pernode address.

A separate logical pairwise address is assigned to each pair of nodes. This small logical network supports failover of connections. Each node is also assigned a fixed pernode address. That is, the logical pairwise addresses for clusternode1-priv are different on each node, while the logical pernode address for clusternode1-priv is the same on each node. A node does not have a pairwise address to itself, however, so gethostbyname(clusternode1-priv) on node 1 returns only the logical pernode address.

Note that applications accepting connections over the cluster interconnect and then verifying the IP address for security reasons must check against all IP addresses returned from gethostbyname, not just the first IP address.

If you need consistent IP addresses in your application at all points, configure the application to bind to the pernode address on both the client and the server side so that all connections can appear to come and go from the pernode address.