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Example of a preexisting network partition (split-brain)

Preexisting network partition (split-brain) shows a two-node cluster in which the severed cluster interconnect poses a potential split-brain condition.

Preexisting network partition (split-brain)

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Because the fencing module operates identically on each system, both nodes assume the other is failed, and carry out fencing operations to insure the other node is ejected. The VCS GAB module on each node determines the peer has failed due to loss of heartbeats and passes the membership change to the fencing module.

Each side "races" to gain control of the coordinator disks. Only a registered node can eject the registration of another node, so only one side successfully completes the command on each disk.

The side that successfully ejects the peer from a majority of the coordinator disks wins. The fencing module on the winning side then passes the membership change up to VCS and other higher-level packages registered with the fencing module, allowing VCS to invoke recovery actions. The losing side forces a kernel panic and reboots.