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Probably a FAQ but I haven't found anything useful after a while of searching:

Can I set up NFS in such a way that every single error (e.g. server CPU, hard disk, hd controller, network adapter, network cable, power supply) is masked without any need for immediate intervention?

I have only answers for parts of the problem: RAID, redundant power supply, redundant network adapters

How do I address CPU failure of the NFS server so that clients fail over transparently?

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migrated from May 29 '11 at 12:34

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

You could buy a system that can tollerate a CPU failure, or you could implement more than one server. You can create an NFS failover cluster fairly easily on Linux (I'm sure Sun et all have a mechanism for this too).

A fairly well supported/common way to do it is with heartbeat, (first link I found on Google, search NFS and heartbeat) to manage the cluster and then share the storage between the servers. The important thing to do with NFS to ensure a transparent failover is to also share the NFS state information which is usually in /var/lib/nfs. You can do that by putting it on the shared storage.

edit: Also setting the fsid option to the same value on the NFS export on each server will prevent you from getting stale file handles when the cluster fails over.

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Pacemaker + Heartbeat (or Corosync these days) + DRBD + NFS is what works for me. – rthomson May 29 '11 at 14:22
Howtoforge has a tutorial on setting this up as well: – churnd May 29 '11 at 15:00

nfs 4.1 supports pNFS, which is clustered.

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Nfs 4.1,never tried but i heard is possible a active/active cluster. Nfs classic active/active is impossible as i know,is possible a active/passive cluster,drbd and nfs and pacemaker or better hearbeat. Here's a nice how to,fast and simple

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Partners of Nexenta Systems offer clustered solutions that are ideal for making for highly available NFS, while taking full advantage of ALL available features of ZFS. Typical model calls for a 2-node cluster with a shared storage unit, configured as a JBOD. NexentaStor is used to provision NFS, CIFS, etc. In your case it may just be NFS. Our clustering framework allows for a highly-available solution that might be exactly what you are looking for.

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