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6.2. Deciding Which Nodes a Resource Can Run On

Location constraints tell the cluster which nodes a resource can run on.
There are two alternative strategies. One way is to say that, by default, resources can run anywhere, and then the location constraints specify nodes that are not allowed (an opt-out cluster). The other way is to start with nothing able to run anywhere, and use location constraints to selectively enable allowed nodes (an opt-in cluster).
Whether you should choose opt-in or opt-out depends on your personal preference and the make-up of your cluster. If most of your resources can run on most of the nodes, then an opt-out arrangement is likely to result in a simpler configuration. On the other-hand, if most resources can only run on a small subset of nodes, an opt-in configuration might be simpler.

6.2.1. Location Properties

Table 6.1. Properties of a rsc_location Constraint

Field Default Description
A unique name for the constraint
The name of the resource to which this constraint applies
A regular expression matching the names of resources to which this constraint applies, if rsc is not specified; if the regular expression contains submatches and the constraint is governed by a rule (see Chapter 8, Rules), the submatches can be referenced as %0 through %9 in the rule’s score-attribute or a rule expression’s attribute (since 1.1.16)
A node’s name
Positive values indicate a preference for running the affected resource(s) on this node — the higher the value, the stronger the preference. Negative values indicate the resource(s) should avoid this node (a value of -INFINITY changes "should" to "must").
Whether Pacemaker should perform resource discovery (that is, check whether the resource is already running) for this resource on this node. This should normally be left as the default, so that rogue instances of a service can be stopped when they are running where they are not supposed to be. However, there are two situations where disabling resource discovery is a good idea: when a service is not installed on a node, discovery might return an error (properly written OCF agents will not, so this is usually only seen with other agent types); and when Pacemaker Remote is used to scale a cluster to hundreds of nodes, limiting resource discovery to allowed nodes can significantly boost performance. (since 1.1.13)
  • always: Always perform resource discovery for the specified resource on this node.
  • never: Never perform resource discovery for the specified resource on this node. This option should generally be used with a -INFINITY score, although that is not strictly required.
  • exclusive: Perform resource discovery for the specified resource only on this node (and other nodes similarly marked as exclusive). Multiple location constraints using exclusive discovery for the same resource across different nodes creates a subset of nodes resource-discovery is exclusive to. If a resource is marked for exclusive discovery on one or more nodes, that resource is only allowed to be placed within that subset of nodes.


Setting resource-discovery to never or exclusive removes Pacemaker’s ability to detect and stop unwanted instances of a service running where it’s not supposed to be. It is up to the system administrator (you!) to make sure that the service can never be active on nodes without resource-discovery (such as by leaving the relevant software uninstalled).