Random server restarts, swap and moving nodes to new hardware

Sean Cribbs sean at basho.com
Tue Aug 16 10:35:03 EDT 2011


That should be fine. I assumed you were using EBS as your data volume
because most people we talk to do (for better or worse).

On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 10:32 AM, Jeff Pollard <jeff.pollard at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hey Sean,
> Thanks very much for the reply.  I'll certainly try going to 10.10 with the
> upgrade, that's good info.
> Re EBS: were you saying to attach the EBS volume to the new node and use
> the EBS volume as the data volume?  We had been using EBS as a backup
> volume, but using ephemeral storage for the actual data directory.  We did
> this primarily for I/O performance reasons and also cause EBS seems to have
> had a bad operations track record at AWS.  In my steps from my previous
> email, our "shared location" actually was EBS, but we were planning on
> offloading the files to the ephemeral disk and using that as the data volume
> for Riak.  Does that make sense?
> On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 7:18 AM, Sean Cribbs <sean at basho.com> wrote:
>> Jeff,
>> We highly recommend you upgrade to 10.10 or later. 10.04 has some known
>> problems when running under Xen (especially on EC2) -- in some cases under
>> load, the network interface will break, making the node temporarily
>> inaccessible.
>> When you do upgrade, the simplest way (if possible) would be to remount
>> the attached EBS volumes where your Riak data is stored onto the new nodes.
>> Otherwise, the steps you list are correct.
>> Regarding swap, whether you have it on or not is a personal decision. Riak
>> will "do the right thing" and exit when it can't allocate more memory,
>> allowing you to figure out what went wrong -- as opposed to grinding the
>> machine into IO oblivion while consuming more and more swap.  That said, in
>> some deployments (notably not on EC2), swap can be helpful.
>> Hope that helps,
>> --
>> Sean Cribbs <sean at basho.com>
>> Developer Advocate
>> Basho Technologies, Inc.
>> http://www.basho.com/
>> On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 3:46 AM, Jeff Pollard <jeff.pollard at gmail.com>wrote:
>>> Hello everyone,
>>> We've got a very interesting problem.  We're hosting our 5-node cluster
>>> on EC2 running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) Server 64-bit<http://aws.amazon.com/amis/4348> using
>>> m2.xlarge instance types, and over the past 5 days we've had two EC2 servers
>>> randomly restart on us.  We've checked the logs and there was nothing that
>>> we saw that indicated why they restarted.  One second they were happily
>>> logging and the next second the server was in the process of rebooting.
>>>  This is particularly bad because every time the node comes back up we get
>>> merge errors due to an existing bug in Riak and have to restore from a
>>> recent backup.
>>> Just today we noticed that the EC2 servers did not have swap enabled
>>> (apparently the norm for xlarge+ instances), which we thought might have
>>> been our problem?  My knowledge of what happens when swap is off is pretty
>>> poor - but I have been told that the Linux OOM killer should still be
>>> invoked and start trying to kill processes, rather than the server simply
>>> restarting.  Is that correct?  Also, how would Riak hypothetically handle
>>> swap being off on a system?  We're using Bitcask if that helps.
>>> Secondly, one of our ops guys here thinks the issue might be related to a
>>> bug <http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1436497> (?) that others
>>> Ubuntu users of the same version seem to have.  In fact, we do see the same
>>> "INFO: task cron:15047 blocked for more than 120 seconds: line in our log
>>> file.  We're also running a AMI that isn't the official one from Canonical,
>>> so the thought being an upgrade to the official AMI would help.
>>> If we do want to upgrade, it will mean moving each cluster node to new
>>> hardware.  I wanted to ask the list to make sure we were doing it correctly.
>>>  Here is the plan to transfer a node to new hardware -- note that these
>>> steps will be done on one node at a time, and we'll make sure the cluster
>>> has stabilized after doing one node before moving on to the next one.
>>>    1. Stop riak on old server.
>>>    2. Copy data directory (including bitcask, mr_queue and ring folders)
>>>    to a shared location.
>>>    3. Shutdown old server.
>>>    4. Boot new replacement server, installing (but not starting) Riak.
>>>    5. Transfer data directory from shared location to data folder on new
>>>    node.
>>>    6. Start riak.
>>> My main concern is if the ring state will transfer to a new node safely,
>>> assuming the new server has the same hostname and node name as the old
>>> server?  The new server will have a different IP address, but all our node
>>> names in our cluster use hostnames, and those will not be changing.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> riak-users mailing list
>>> riak-users at lists.basho.com
>>> http://lists.basho.com/mailman/listinfo/riak-users_lists.basho.com

Sean Cribbs <sean at basho.com>
Developer Advocate
Basho Technologies, Inc.
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