Oreilly Building cluster with Linux HA (German: Clusterbau mit Linux-HA)
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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 8
configuration details of heartbeat clusters
general design aspects of a cluster environment could be better
The best (and only) Linux-HA Ver. 2 book worldwide (in German)
The book has a very methodical structure. Overall the story board is easy to follow and logical.
It is technically as detailed as it is demanding. Its focus is mainly on the configuration of the cluster software itself.
If you havent found elsewhere enough information how to use Linux-HA (heartbeat) chances are that its covered in this book.
Junior admins will find that it's a lot to take in at first, but get the value out of it once they climped that hill.
The book starts off with a strong first chapter giving you general explanations on what High availability is, what LVS and /or Linux-HA can do for you and some mathematical backgrounds for evaluating the high availability of system components.
The book is easy to follow and f.e. chapter one's basic mathematical explanations are visually illustrated.
It continues with explaining the Cluster basics (Chapter two) like software infrastructure and the required functioniality to asure integrity of the data and operation of the cluster. Chapter three is looking into software installation for Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian SLES and RHEL. The book even does mention at some point BSD and Solaris specifics but its more a sidenode and not its main focus.
Chapter four (60p) is the first major part of the book, explaining the configuration of cluster resources (and that is a whopping 25% block of the book). To get the most value out of chapter four you will have to run through the case scenarios which come later in chapter seven towards the end of the book.
Chapter five is focusing on planning and operation. That includes migration, upgrade, sanity checks, troubleshooting and testing, testing and ... Testing.
Chapter six is the second major part of the book (40p) explaining the agents functionality and its compatibility intricies.
I feel that the agent types overview like explanations are fine and that the examples provided do add value for the understanding.
However, I felt that the parameter description of the the 20+ agents should be moved to the appendix itself.
On that note a one page summary of the agents categorized by interface type (telnet,ssh, snmp, serial, https, controller cards) would be appreciated.
Chapter seven is show casing three very common cluster scenarios (fileserver, firewall and LVS) which probably many admins will be familiar with. The author does add valueable occasional ideas, thoughts and rants but does not sufficiently follow up on it. I would have loved to see much more examples in this chapter.
Chapter eight (5p) is about monitoring and security. Its fine for me if the author doesnít want to go into to much details, but at least he should give the readers some adequately links for further literature.
Generally speaking itís a good overview for the setup and operation of a heartbeat cluster.
I am a bit surprised about the balance of the book. I am currently involved with 4+ Linux-HA projects in parallel and I would have thought that f.e. performance considerations (file systems etc.) or security would require more coverage.
Basically the books focus is strong on the configuration and parameter descriptions.
On the one side the technical contents covered is explained in a clear and good style.
The book is also packing a respectable amount of information into this little mobile knowledge base.
On the other side every now and then some quirky neudeutsch or denglish formulations are found within the text, IP's mistaken etc.
If the author would manage to add more info on the occasional ideas, vague descriptions and rants he is adding to the text, readers would be more able to comprehend what he is actually trying to say.
I would have LOVED more case scenarios, especially at least one that is more outstanding.
Perhaps an extra chapter on best practices scenarios can showcase how to get more performance or design considerations right.
That would also make all the difference between a good book and an excellent one.
However, keep in mind that I do respect that this is CURRENTLY the only book on the international marcet (including US and Japan) with that amount of coverage on heartbeat's version two.