DNAC HA

The DNAC is currently sold as an appliance (part number DN1-HW-APL). It costs a whopping $80k list per box! So why do you need three of them when doing a HA setup?

It is because of Quorum. The definition of quorum is:

"The number of members of a group or organization required to be present to transact business legally, usually a majority."

 - source: dictionary.com

Say you only have two hosts in a cluster. If they get partitioned, who should take the role of servicing the network and maintaining the database? This is where quorum comes into play. When you have a three node cluster and one of them loses network connectivity to the other two nodes, the “majority” of nodes lies with the two nodes that can see each other. Quorum is obtained and DNAC continues to function. Now data consistency is also ensured when the network to the isolated single host is restored. This is also the reason why you can only survive losing a single DNAC host. If all three gets cut off from each other, you will need to isolate one of them and reinitialize the other two – one at a time.

This fact about quorum is very important when deciding where to place the nodes. First of all they must be layer 2 adjacent. Second they should be physically close to each other. At least two of them. If you have a data center with two sites, perhaps it would be a good idea to place one of the DNAC boxes at one site and two of them together at the other site.

For more information, see:
Split Brain and Network Partition
Recover Failed Hosts in a Cluster

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.