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STONITH ("Shoot The Other Node In The Head" or "Shoot The Offending Node In The Head"), sometimes called STOMITH ("Shoot The Other Member/Machine In The Head"), is a technique for fencing in computer clusters.[1]

Fencing is the isolation of a failed node so that it does not cause disruption to a computer cluster. As its name suggests, STONITH fences failed nodes by resetting or powering down the failed node.

Multi-node error-prone contention in a cluster can have catastrophic results, such as if both nodes try writing to a shared storage resource. STONITH provides effective, if rather drastic, protection against these problems.

Single node systems use a comparable mechanism called a watchdog timer. A watchdog timer will reset the node if the node does not tell the watchdog circuit that it is operating well. A STONITH decision can be based on various decisions which can be customer specific plugins.


  1. ^ Alan Robertson (2010). "Resource fencing using STONITH" (PDF). IBM Linux Research Center. 

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