Cluster layout management

3 min

The cluster layout in Garage is a table that assigns to each node a role in the cluster. The role of a node in Garage can either be a storage node with a certain capacity, or a gateway node that does not store data and is only used as an API entry point for faster cluster access. An introduction to building cluster layouts can be found in the production deployment page.

How cluster layouts work in Garage

In Garage, a cluster layout is composed of the following components:

  • a table of roles assigned to nodes
  • a version number

Garage nodes will always use the cluster layout with the highest version number.

Garage nodes also maintain and synchronize between them a set of proposed role changes that haven't yet been applied. These changes will be applied (or canceled) in the next version of the layout

The following commands insert modifications to the set of proposed role changes for the next layout version (but they do not create the new layout immediately):

garage layout assign [...]
garage layout remove [...]

The following command can be used to inspect the layout that is currently set in the cluster and the changes proposed for the next layout version, if any:

garage layout show

The following commands create a new layout with the specified version number, that either takes into account the proposed changes or cancels them:

garage layout apply --version <new_version_number>
garage layout revert --version <new_version_number>

The version number of the new layout to create must be 1 + the version number of the previous layout that existed in the cluster. The apply and revert commands will fail otherwise.

Warnings about Garage cluster layout management

Warning: never make several calls to garage layout apply or garage layout revert with the same value of the --version flag. Doing so can lead to the creation of several different layouts with the same version number, in which case your Garage cluster will become inconsistent until fixed. If a call to garage layout apply or garage layout revert has failed and garage layout show indicates that a new layout with the given version number has not been set in the cluster, then it is fine to call the command again with the same version number.

If you are using the garage CLI by typing individual commands in your shell, you shouldn't have much issues as long as you run commands one after the other and take care of checking the output of garage layout show before applying any changes.

If you are using the garage CLI to script layout changes, follow the following recommendations:

  • Make all of your garage CLI calls to the same RPC host. Do not use the garage CLI to connect to individual nodes to send them each a piece of the layout changes you are making, as the changes propagate asynchronously between nodes and might not all be taken into account at the time when the new layout is applied.

  • Only call garage layout apply once, and call it strictly after all of the layout assign and layout remove commands have returned.