Configure NFS Server Clustering with Pacemaker on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7


NFS (Network File System) is the most widely server to provide files over network. With NFS server we can share folders over the network and allowed clients or system can access those shared folders and can use them in their applications. When it comes to the production environment then we should configure nfs server in high availability to rule out the single point of failure.

In this article we will discuss how we can configure nfs server high availability clustering(active-passive) with pacemaker on CentOS 7 or RHEL 7

Following are my lab details that I have used for this article,

  • NFS Server 1 ( – – Minimal CentOS 7 / RHEL 7
  • NFS Server 2 ( – – Minimal CentOS 7 / RHEL 7
  • NFS Server VIP –
  • Firewall enabled
  • SELinux enabled

Refer the below steps to configure NFS Server active-passive clustering on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

Step:1 Set Host name on both nfs servers and update /etc/hosts file

Login to both nfs servers and set the hostname as “” and “” respectively using hostnamectl command, Example is shown below

~]# hostnamectl set-hostname ""
~]# exec bash

Update the /etc/hosts file on both nfs servers,

Step:2 Update both nfs servers and install pcs packages

Use below ‘yum update’ command to apply all the updates on both nfs servers and then reboot once.

~]# yum update && reboot

Install pcs and fence-agent packages on both nfs servers,

[[email protected] ~]# yum install -y pcs fence-agents-all
[[email protected] ~]# yum install -y pcs fence-agents-all

Once the pcs and fencing agents’s packages are installed then allow pcs related ports in OS firewall from both the nfs servers,

~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=high-availability
~]# firewall-cmd --reload

Now Start and enable pcsd service on both nfs nodes using beneath commands,

~]# systemctl enable pcsd
~]# systemctl start  pcsd

Step:3 Authenticate nfs nodes and form a cluster

Set the password to hacluster user, pcsd service will use this user to get the cluster nodes authenticated, so let’s first set the password to hacluster user on both the nodes,

[[email protected] ~]# echo "enter_password" | passwd --stdin hacluster
[[email protected] ~]# echo "enter_password" | passwd --stdin hacluster

Now authenticate the Cluster nodes, In our case will be authenticated on, run the below pcs cluster command on “nfs1”

[[email protected] ~]# pcs cluster auth
Username: hacluster
Password: Authorized Authorized
[[email protected] ~]#

Now its time to form a cluster with the name “nfs_cluster” and add both nfs nodes to it. Run below “pcs cluster setup” command from any nfs node,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs cluster setup --start --name nfs_cluster

Enable pcs cluster service on both the nodes so that nodes will join the cluster automatically after reboot. Execute below command from either of nfs node,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs cluster enable --all Cluster Enabled Cluster Enabled
[[email protected] ~]#

Step:4 Define Fencing device for each cluster node.

Fencing is the most important part of a cluster, if any of the node goes faulty then fencing device will remove that node from the cluster. In Pacemaker fencing is defined using Stonith (Shoot The Other Node In The Head) resource.

In this tutorial we are using a shared disk of size 1 GB (/dev/sdc) as a fencing device. Let’s first find out the id of /dev/sdc disk

[[email protected] ~]# ls -l /dev/disk/by-id/


Note down the id of disk /dev/sdc as we will it in “pcs stonith” command.

Now run below “pcs stonith” command from either of the node to create fencing device(disk_fencing)

[[email protected] ~]# pcs stonith create disk_fencing fence_scsi pcmk_host_list="" pcmk_monitor_action="metadata" pcmk_reboot_action="off" devices="/dev/disk/by-id/wwn-0x6001405e49919dad5824dc2af5fb3ca0" meta provides="unfencing"
[[email protected] ~]#

Verify the status of stonith using below command,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs stonith show
 disk_fencing   (stonith:fence_scsi):   Started
[[email protected] ~]#

Run “pcs status” command to view status of cluster

[[email protected] ~]# pcs status
Cluster name: nfs_cluster
Stack: corosync
Current DC: (version 1.1.16-12.el7_4.7-94ff4df) - partition with quorum
Last updated: Sun Mar  4 03:18:47 2018
Last change: Sun Mar  4 03:16:09 2018 by root via cibadmin on

2 nodes configured
1 resource configured
Online: [ ]
Full list of resources:
 disk_fencing   (stonith:fence_scsi):   Started
Daemon Status:
  corosync: active/enabled
  pacemaker: active/enabled
  pcsd: active/enabled
[[email protected] ~]#

Note: If your cluster nodes are the Virtual machines and hosted on VMware then you can use “fence_vmware_soap” fencing agent. To configure “fence_vmware_soap” as fencing agent, refer the below logical steps:

1) Verify whether your cluster nodes can reach to VMware hypervisor or Vcenter

# fence_vmware_soap -a <vCenter_IP_address> -l <user_name> -p <password> --ssl -z -v -o list |egrep "(|"
# fence_vmware_soap -a <vCenter_IP_address> -l <user_name> -p <password> --ssl -z -o list |egrep "(|"

if you are able to see the VM names in the output then it is fine, otherwise you need to check why cluster nodes not able to make connection esxi or vcenter.

2) Define the fencing device using below command,

# pcs stonith create vmware_fence fence_vmware_soap pcmk_host_map=";" ipaddr=<vCenter_IP_address> ssl=1 login=<user_name> passwd=<password>

3) check the stonith status using below command,

# pcs stonith show

Step:5 Install nfs and format nfs shared disk

Install ‘nfs-utils’ package on both nfs servers

[[email protected] ~]# yum install nfs-utils -y
[[email protected] ~]# yum install nfs-utils -y

Stop and disable local “nfs-lock” service on both nodes as this service will be controlled by pacemaker

[[email protected] ~]# systemctl stop nfs-lock &&  systemctl disable nfs-lock
[[email protected] ~]# systemctl stop nfs-lock &&  systemctl disable nfs-lock

Let’s assume we have a shared disk “/dev/sdb” of size 10 GB between two cluster nodes, Create partition on it and format it as xfs file system

[[email protected] ~]# fdisk /dev/sdb


Run the partprobe command on both nodes and reboot once.

~]# partprobe

Now format “/dev/sdb1” as xfs file system

[[email protected] ~]# mkfs.xfs /dev/sdb1
meta-data=/dev/sdb1              isize=256    agcount=4, agsize=655296 blks
         =                       sectsz=512   attr=2, projid32bit=1
         =                       crc=0        finobt=0
data     =                       bsize=4096   blocks=2621184, imaxpct=25
         =                       sunit=0      swidth=0 blks
naming   =version 2              bsize=4096   ascii-ci=0 ftype=0
log      =internal log           bsize=4096   blocks=2560, version=2
         =                       sectsz=512   sunit=0 blks, lazy-count=1
realtime =none                   extsz=4096   blocks=0, rtextents=0
[[email protected] ~]#

Create mount point for this file system on both the nodes,

[[email protected] ~]# mkdir /nfsshare
[[email protected] ~]# mkdir /nfsshare

Step:6 Configure all required NFS resources on Cluster Nodes

Followings are the required NFS resources:

  • Filesystem resource
  • nfsserver resource
  • exportfs resource
  • IPaddr2 floating IP address resource

For Filesystem resource, we need a shared storage among the cluster nodes, we have already created partition on the shared disk (/dev/sdb1) in above steps, so we will use that partition. Use below “pcs resource create” command to define Filesystem resource from any of the node,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs resource create nfsshare Filesystem device=/dev/sdb1  directory=/nfsshare fstype=xfs --group nfsgrp
[[email protected] ~]#

In above command we have defined NFS filesystem as “nfsshare” under the group “nfsgrp“. Now onwards all nfs resources will created under the group nfsgrp.

Create nfsserver resource with name ‘nfsd‘ using the below command,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs resource create nfsd nfsserver nfs_shared_infodir=/nfsshare/nfsinfo --group nfsgrp
[[email protected] ~]#

Create exportfs resource with the name “nfsroot

[[email protected] ~]#  pcs resource create nfsroot exportfs clientspec="" options=rw,sync,no_root_squash directory=/nfsshare fsid=0 --group nfsgrp
[[email protected] ~]#

In the above command, clientspec indicates the allowed clients which can access the nfsshare

Create NFS IPaddr2 resource using below command,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs resource create nfsip IPaddr2 ip= cidr_netmask=24 --group nfsgrp
[[email protected] ~]#

Now view and verify the cluster using pcs status

[[email protected] ~]# pcs status


Once you are done with NFS resources then allow nfs server ports in OS firewall from both nfs servers,

~]# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=nfs
~]#  firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=mountd
~]#  firewall-cmd --permanent --add-service=rpc-bind
~]#  firewall-cmd --reload

Step:7 Try Mounting NFS share on Clients

Now try mounting the nfs share using mount command, example is shown below

[[email protected] ~]# mkdir /mnt/nfsshare
[[email protected] ~]# mount /mnt/nfsshare/
[[email protected] ~]# df -Th /mnt/nfsshare
Filesystem     Type  Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on nfs4   10G   32M   10G   1% /mnt/nfsshare
[[email protected] ~]#
[[email protected] ~]# cd /mnt/nfsshare/
[[email protected] nfsshare]# ls
[[email protected] nfsshare]#

For Cluster testing, stop the cluster service on any of the node and see whether nfsshare is accessible or not. Let’s assume I am going stop cluster service on “”

[[email protected] ~]# pcs cluster stop
Stopping Cluster (pacemaker)...
Stopping Cluster (corosync)...
[[email protected] ~]#

Now go to client machine and see whether nfsshare is still accessible, In my case I am still able to access it and able to create files on it.

[[email protected] nfsshare]# touch test
[[email protected] nfsshare]#

Now enable the cluster service on “” using below command,

[[email protected] ~]# pcs cluster start
Starting Cluster...
[[email protected] ~]#

That’s all from this article, it confirms that we have successfully configured NFS active-passive clustering using pacemaker. Please do share your feedback and comments in the comments section below.

Read AlsoConfigure Two Node Squid Cluster using Pacemaker on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

23 Responses

  1. Tomas says:

    Amazing article! I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but does it work with NFSv4?

  2. Antonius says:


    Is this type of fence devices works if i using another scenario such as app cluster?

  3. Tomas says:

    I just noticed that you use a shared disk on VirtualBox.

    What happens when you actually try to fence a node manually? For example:

    # pcs stonith fence nfs2

    I cannot see anything here showing that you tested it, and that it worked. I don’t use VirtualBox therefore genuinely curious.

  4. Daniel Cordero says:


    How can I make this procedure plus cifs shares?


  5. Jérôme says:

    Great article ! Exactly my need.
    Just a question regarding resource configuration how much memory and cpu would you dedicate for each cluster node, for almost 50 users using a shared disk of almost 500GB?

  6. NILESH ALHAT says:

    not able to mount any suggestions?

  7. Paul.LKW says:

    I just added a disk as /dev/sdb, but when I issue the command ls -l /dev/disk/by-id I could not see what wwn-0x6001405e49919dad5824dc2af5fb3ca0 related to sdb, so I could not configure by your hints any any further !!! Any hints could provide ?

  8. mous says:

    i have question : if i have one lun that is HA NFS on 3 clusters nodes , x ,y and z . if we suppose that cluster is mounted on server x , can we add nfs mount point on servers y z using the VIP ?
    so the lun will be direct mounted to x and NFS mounted to Y and Z .
    if yes ? then if server x went down will the lun will be mounted on Y or Z even if the NFS mount exist ?

    • Pradeep Kumar says:

      Using Pacemaker we usually configure Active-Passive NFS cluster, All the services including VIP and NFS LUN will be available on active Node, let’s say x node, if due to some reasons this node went down then all services ( including NFS LUN and VIP) will be migrated to either y or z node.

  9. Paul.LKW says:

    I find also by this one “pcs resource create nfsshare Filesystem device=/dev/sdb1 directory=/nfsshare fstype=xfs –group nfsgrp”.
    Because modern Linux will interchange the device name so I got /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdc1 interchanged on reboot at some time and I could not find pcs create will accept UUID so once the NFS node is down whether it could resume is an unknown factor by this method !!!

  10. kaushik sen says:

    perfect article for FC San storage and two physical Node Nfs cluster ,
    i`ve completed one of my project with the help of this article

    thank you 🙂

  11. kaushik sen says:

    could you please share the possible documentation if i use dell idrac for fencing …….

  12. Omar says:

    Hi Pradeep,
    I have got this error after applying step4: Define Fencing device for each cluster node.
    Error: Error: Agent ‘disk_fencing’ is not installed or does not provide valid metadata: Agent disk_fencing not found or does not support meta-data: Invalid argument (22)
    Metadata query for stonith:disk_fencing failed: Input/output error

  13. Phuong Nguyen says:

    I tried, everything went smoothly except the last step – moving NFS shares on client.
    I just could mount it on the, not another node.
    The “ip a” show that the virtual floating IP was linked to the nfs1 node, not the nfs2 node, and can not ping from nfs2.
    Any suggestions?

  14. kaushik sen says:

    hi ,

    i`m looking for Rhel HA with KVM guest cluster ?

  15. Abdelkader says:

    Hi, thanks for the artical, i’m not able to mount the nfs using the vip:
    [[email protected] ~]# mount /mnt/nfsshare/
    mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on,
    missing codepage or helper program, or other error
    (for several filesystems (e.g. nfs, cifs) you might
    need a /sbin/mount. helper program)

    In some cases useful info is found in syslog – try
    dmesg | tail or so.

    Here is the result of lsblk, sdb1 as fencing device and sdc1 shared storage:
    [[email protected] ~]# lsblk -f
    ├─sda1 xfs a13287c6-e902-4162-8c96-fdbc42d487a0 /boot
    └─sda2 LVM2_me M4KyTZ-1BPU-aWgE-8Um0-0gKf-lPDK-dDUdhS
    xfs ddf9c038-feec-45e0-83fe-be5b62843499 /
    swap 15a46aa8-2cf1-4c94-ae6b-982b7a38c249 [SWAP]
    └─sdb1 xfs 800d010e-369c-4b33-a159-be1fab3064eb
    └─sdc1 xfs 1ea91760-f20a-4358-a51a-7fce3760b72e
    sr0 iso9660 CentOS 7 x86_64

  16. Jay says:

    How are these shared disks created for the fencing and the nfs share? “In this tutorial we are using a shared disk of size 1 GB (/dev/sdc) as a fencing device.” How is this shared disk created / mounted?

    Isn’t the shared disk still a single point of failure?

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