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HA-ISCSI Dual Host Software
Current Version 2.2.3




The iSCSI-HA is an add-on module for two-node pools utilizing Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) or XenServer virtualization environments. It is intended to build highly available two-node clusters with local storage without limiting pool advanced functionality such as live migration.

Generally, this is achieved with separate iSCSI/SAN and Xen clusters which require a minimum of four physical servers and a pair of redundant Ethernet switches to reach an adequate level of fault tolerance. This may not be the most efficient use of hardware for small cluster applications. The goal of iSCSI-HA is to provide a simple framework for building compact, highly available pools utilizing XenServer or Xen Cloud Platform with just two physical hosts.

iSCSI-HA requires DRBD for block replication of storage and an iSCSI target framework such as TGT. A sample pool design/diagram is shown below for a highly available two-node pool.

ha iscsi application drawing for xenserver ha with 2 hosts



In this example, the DRBD and iSCSI interface is provided via direct attachment (no Ethernet switches) on a bonded Ethernet link. This approach greatly eliminates the possibility of a split-brain scenario since there are no networking devices interconnecting the hosts in any way. Additionally, utilizing a bonded Ethernet link further eliminates the possibility of communication interruption between the hosts.

The iSCSI-HA add-on does not make any decisions or employ any logic relating to cluster management and the roles of the hosts. It relies on an external HA tool such as open-source HA-Lizard or XenServer HA licensing. The iSCSI-HA add-on relies on the external HA logic to ensure that a pool Master is always available. Based on this, iSCSI-HA will assign a single shared/floating IP address to the Master and promote DRBD resources to follow the floating IP. The slave host will be in a demoted state at all times. In the event of a change of pool roles, iSCSI-HA will automatically detect the new roles and promote the new Master as the iSCSI target and demote the former Master to slave/standby mode.


Development is well tested and based on Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) version 1.6, XenServer 6.1/6.2/6.5/7.x/8.x with HA-Lizard.


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