Understanding the Majority Consensus Algorithm
An inherent problem with replicated databases is that it can be difficult to
determine which database has valid and correct data. To solve this problem,
Solaris Volume Manager uses a majority consensus algorithm. This algorithm requires that a
majority of the database replicas agree with each other before any of them
are declared valid. This algorithm requires the presence of at least three initial
replicas, which you create. A consensus can then be reached as long as
at least two of the three replicas are available. If only one replica
exists and the system crashes, it is possible that all volume configuration data
will be lost.
To protect data, Solaris Volume Manager does not function unless half of
all state database replicas are available. The algorithm, therefore, ensures against corrupt data.
The majority consensus algorithm provides the following:
The system continues to run if at least half of the state database replicas are available.
The system panics if fewer than half of the state database replicas are available.
The system cannot reboot into multiuser mode unless a majority (half + 1) of the total number of state database replicas is available.
If insufficient state database replicas are available, you must boot into single-user mode
and delete enough of the corrupted or missing replicas to achieve a quorum.
See How to Recover From Insufficient State Database Replicas.
Note - When the total number of state database replicas is an odd number,
Solaris Volume Manager computes the majority by dividing the number in half, rounding
down to the nearest integer, then adding 1 (one). For example, on a
system with seven replicas, the majority would be four (seven divided by two
is three and one-half, rounded down is three, plus one is four).