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I have three nodes(as recommended, in different switches) forming a Galera Cluster. Is there any real requirement of 'Garbd'? I don't see much reasons for using this apart from avoiding split-brain or taking backups?

Another doubt regarding garbd is that suppose I have 3 nodes in the cluster, and adding a garbd node will make the cluster size of 4, which is an even-numbered quorum. Will this not cause a split-brain situation?

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If you have minimum of three active nodes in your cluster, you don't need to add garbd.

You should use a garbd with the following conditions:

  1. When you have an even number of nodes and you can't add new nodes (because of cost or ...) to avoid split-brain situations.
  2. when you want to backup data (SST method) to a server.

More information: http://galeracluster.com/documentation-webpages/arbitrator.html

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  • 2 needs a 3rd node. 4 does not need a 5th in order to recover from a single-server failure. (I sent them a comment.)
    – Rick James
    Dec 23, 2016 at 4:32
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It's basically for 2 node clusters where you don't need a 3rd but need to avoid split brain.

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