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fence-virt 1.0.0-1
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TODO: update

I. Fence_xvm - Virtual machine fencing agent

Fence_xvm is an agent which establishes a communications link between
a cluster of virtual machines (VC) and a cluster of domain0/physical
nodes which are hosting the virtual cluster.  Its operations are
fairly simple.

  (a) Start a listener service.
  (b) Send a multicast packet requesting that a VM be fenced.
  (c) Authenticate client.
  (e) Read response.
  (f) Exit with success/failure, depending on the response received.

If any of the above steps fail, the fencing agent exits with a failure
code and fencing is retried by the virtual cluster at a later time.
Because of the simplicty of fence_xvm, it is not necessary that
fence_xvm be run from within a virtualized guest - all it needs is
libnspr and libnss and a shared private key (for authentication; we
would hate to receive a false positive response from a node not in the
cluster!).


II. Fence_virtd - Virtual machine fencing host

Fence_virtd is a daemon which runs on physical hosts (e.g. in domain0)
of the cluster hosting the virtual cluster.  It listens on a port
for multicast traffic from virtual cluster(s), and takes actions.
Multiple disjoint virtual clusters can coexist on a single physical
host cluster, but this requires multiple instances of fence_virtd.

NOTE: fence_virtd *MUST* be run on ALL nodes in a given cluster which
will be hosting virtual machines if fence_xvm is to be used for 
fencing!

There are a couple of ways the multicast packet is handled,
depending on the state of the host OS.  It might be hosting the VM,
or it might not.  Furthermore, the VM might "reside" on a host which
has failed.

In order to be able to guarantee safe fencing of a VM even if the
last- known host is down, we must store the last-known locations of
each virtual machine in some sort of cluster-wide way.  For this, we
use the corosync CPG API.  Every few seconds, fence_virtd queries the
hypervisor via libvirt and stores any local VM states and sends those
states over CPG to all other members.  In the event of a physical node
failure (which consequently causes the failure of one or more guests),
we can then read the stored VM state corresponding to the guest we need
to fence to find out the previous owner. With that information, we can
infer if the known host node has been fenced.  If so, then the VM is clean
as well. The physical cluster must, therefore, have fencing in order for
fence_virtd to work.

Operation of a node hosting a VM which needs to be fenced:
  
  (a) Receive multicast packet
  (b) Authenticate multicast packet
  (c) Open connection to host contained within multicast
      packet.
  (d) Authenticate server.
  (e) Carry out fencing operation (e.g. call libvirt to destroy or
      reboot the VM; there is no "on" method at this point).
  (f) If operation succeeds, send success response.

Operation of high-node-ID:

  (a) Receive multicast packet
  (b) Authenticate multicast packet
  (c) Read VM state from stored CPG messages
  (d) Check liveliness of nodeID hosting VM (if alive, do nothing)
  (e) Open connection to host contained within multicast
      packet.
  (f) Check with CMAN to see if last-known host has been fenced.
  (g) If last-known host has been fenced, send success response.
  (h) Authenticate server & send response.

NOTE: There is always a possibility that a VM is started again
before the fencing operation and CPG update for that VM
occurs.  If the VM has booted and rejoined the cluster, fencing will
not be necessary.  If it is in the process of booting, but has not
yet joined the cluster, fencing will also not be necessary - because
it will not be using cluster resources yet.


III. Security considerations

While fencing is generally expected to run on a more or less trusted
network, there are cases where it may not be.

* The multicast packet is subject to replay attacks, but because no
fencing action is taken based solely on the information contained
within the packet, this should not allow an attacker to maliciously
fence a VM from outside the cluster, though it may be possible to
cause a DoS of fence_virtd if enough multicast packets are sent.

* The only currently supported authentication mechanisms are simple
challenge-response based on a shared private key and pseudorandom
number generation.

* An attacker with access to the shared key(s) can easily fence any
known VM, even if they are not on a cluster node.

* Different shared keys should be used for different virtual
clusters on the same subnet (whether in the same physical cluster
or not).  Additionally, multiple fence_virtd instances must be run
(each listening on a different multicast IP + port combination).

IV.  Configuration

Generate a random key file.  An example of how to generate it is:

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/etc/cluster/fence_xvm.key bs=4096 count=1

Distribute the generated key file to all domUs in a cluster as well
as all dom0s which will be hosting that particular cluster of domUs.
The key should not be placed on shared file systems (because shared
file systems require the cluster, which requires fencing...).

Start fence_virtd on all hosts

Configure fence_xvm on the domU cluster...

rest...tbd