Browse Definitions:
Definition

split brain syndrome

Contributor(s): Arun prasath S

Split brain syndrome, in a clustering context, is a state in which a cluster of nodes gets divided (or partitioned) into smaller clusters of equal numbers of nodes, each of which believes it is the only active cluster. 

Believing the other clusters are dead, each cluster may simultaneously access the same application data or disks, which can lead to data corruption. A split brain situation is created during cluster reformation. When one or more node fails in a cluster, the cluster reforms itself with the available nodes. During this reformation, instead of forming a single cluster, multiple fragments of  the cluster with an equal number of nodes may be formed. Each cluster fragment assumes that it is the only active cluster -- and that other clusters are dead -- and starts accessing the data or disk. Since more than one cluster is accessing the disk, the data gets corrupted.

Here's how it works in more detail:

  • Let's say there are 5 nodes A,B,C,D and E which form a cluster, X.
  • Now a node (say E) fails.
  • Cluster reformation takes place. Actually, the remaining nodes A,B,C and D should form cluster X.
  • But split brain situation may occur which leads to formation of two clusters X1 (containing A and B) and X2 (containing C and D).
  • Both X1 and X2 clusters think that they are the only active cluster. Both clusters start accessing the data or disk, leading to data corruption.

High availability clusters are all vulnerable to split brain syndrome and should use some mechanism to avoid it. Clustering tools, such as Pacemaker, HP ServiceGuard, CMAN and LinuxHA, generally include such mechanisms.

Common methods of addressing split brain syndrome include:

 

This was last updated in March 2014

Continue Reading About split brain syndrome

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces.

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

SearchSecurity

  • FIDO (Fast Identity Online)

    FIDO (Fast ID Online) is a set of technology-agnostic security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO is developed by the...

  • cryptanalysis

    Cryptanalysis is the study of ciphertext, ciphers and cryptosystems with the aim of understanding how they work and finding and ...

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program that appears harmless, but is, in fact, malicious.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD TRIM

    SSD TRIM is an Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) command that enables an operating system to inform a NAND flash solid-state ...

  • cloud storage service

    A cloud storage service is a business that maintains and manages its customers' data and makes that data accessible over a ...

  • cloud hosting

    Cloud hosting is the process of outsourcing an organization's computing and storage resources to a service provider that offers ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close