Category Archives: Data Storage

Debian NAS project turns to SheevaPlug

Martin Michlmayr has published several guides about running Debian on the Linksys NSLU2 (“Slug”) router/NAS device, including one on migrating a Debian NSLU2 installation to Marvell’s SheevaPlug NAS design. With the latest guides on troubleshooting, booting, modifying, and cloning Debian on the NSLU2, the documentation is essentially complete, says Michlmayr.

The free guides cover a number of topics about running Debian Linux with the much-hacked, Linux-ready Cisco/Linksys NSLU2 router and network-attached storage (NAS) platform. Topics are said to include:

  • Troubleshooting: common problems and their solutions
  • Internals about the boot process of Debian on the NSLU2
  • Modifying a NSLU2 firmware image
  • Cloning a NSLU2
  • Migration guide: How to move your Debian installation from your NSLU2 to a SheevaPlug

I believe my NSLU2 web page now covers everything Debian users need to know about the NSLU2,”

reports former Debian project leader Michlmayr on his site where he has posted documentation for Debian porting projects in partnership with the NSLU2-Linux project.

“While I’ll continue to maintain and update this information, I don’t expect to make major additions. Instead, I’ll focus my attention on the SheevaPlug (a great replacement for the NSLU2) and other devices, such as NAS devices from QNAP.

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Gluster enhances open-source clustered NAS

Gluster adds data storage management, virtual server support to open-source clustered NAS

Gluster is joining a recent wave of emerging vendors adding enterprise storage management features to clustered network-attached storage (NAS) systems based on commodity hardware with this week’s release of the Gluster Storage Platform.

Gluster came out of stealth in 2007 with GlusterFS, a scale-out file system for clustered NAS based on open-source code but reengineered “from the ground up,” according to senior director of marketing Jack O’Brien. Version 2 of GlusterFS came out last May with striping, data replication and management tools.

The Gluster Storage Platform, which became available this week, continues to build on those management features with a new software delivery model, an updated Web-based management GUI, and new support for virtual servers, including the ability to self-heal data errors in virtual server environments.

With the Gluster Storage Management Platform, users can now get GlusterFS, the Linux operating system kernel layer and management tools in one package loaded on a thumb drive. Gluster calls this “clustered storage on a stick.” This package also includes a two-step installation process with the goal of making the open-source software accessible to customers who aren’t used to working with code. “We call this release rated ‘E’ for everyone,” O’Brien said.

Similarly, the Gluster Storage Platform uses a Web-based GUI that’s added support for more of Gluster’s management features, such as event logging, which used to require a command line interface.

Finally, though not officially certified with any major server virtualization vendor yet, Gluster is offering support for running virtual machines (VMs) on its clustered NAS. Customers who choose this option can use the cluster’s internal replication to provide high availability (HA) failover for VMs running on the cluster, which is set up using a checkbox at the time of installation. From there, the file system automatically handles the replication using the underlying object-based storage system.


DIY NAS with Debian Lenny

Versia has a comprehensive guide to setting up Debian 5.0 on a VIA ARTiGO A2000 barebones storage server:

After playing with FreeNAS I ended up using Debian for my server. FreeNAS is a great distribution if you want an out of the box experience, but I found it hard to customise, mostly because I’m not very familiar with BSDs. Also, they are switching to Debian for the next version. So, Debian it is.

This post will explain how to set up a NAS server with Debian running essential services such as ssh, samba, nfs, cups, rdiff-backup and rtorrent with a web interface; and using two HDDs in RAID 1 mode with everything encrypted. It took me awhile to research all bits and pieces, hopefully it will save you time if you are going to do a similar set up.

More: DIY NAS with Debian Lenny

Why NAS Might Overtake SAN Storage

“Truer words could not have been written, and they still ring true today. I am fond of saying that there are no new engineering problems, just new engineers solving old problems. Today SAN and NAS still dominate the market. Many of the tradeoffs are the same, but change is coming.

“While not much has changed in the nearly eight years since that article was written, there are some big changes on the way, particularly for NAS:

* The introduction of NFSv4.1 (pNFS) has the potential to put NAS performance on a par with SAN. NAS vendors are going to have to change their file systems to provide better scalability, however. Up to now, between the performance limitations of NFS and Gigabit Ethernet speeds, it was not important for vendors to have scalable file systems.

* 10GbE is faster than the current SAN fabric performance of 8Gbps Fibre Channel and it is far less expensive (see Falling 10GbE Prices Spell Doom for Fibre Channel).

“With SAN shared file systems, sharing data from multiple machines in a SAN is now possible. It was not possible to easily share data across SANs in 2002, because shared file systems were in their infancy.”

Full article: Why NAS Might Overtake SAN Storage

Media server offers up to 14TB NAS storage

Envive, Inc. announced a Linux-based, HD-ready media server that offers up to 14TB of network-attached storage (NAS) capacity. The TheaterStation Multi-Zone Digital Media Management System with Centralized Networked Storage is available with TheaterStation “TSClient Mini” satellite devices, as well as several NAS storage options, the Carrollton, Texas-based company says.

The newly announced Centralized Networked Storage options are designed to expand the Envive’s base TheaterStation Digital Media Management System, which was introduced in September along with TSClient satellite devices.

An Envive spokesperson confirmed that the TheaterStation devices run Linux. (This was not a wild guess on our part, since most new media center systems appear to run on penguin power). He also noted that, “We are interested in helping create a Linux-based platform in the home that would be open to developers building applications. Our vision is far beyond just a Linux-based Media Center.” The spokesperson did not mention, however, when an SDK might be available.

The optional RAID-enabled central networked storage units (pictured below) can hold up to 14TB of storage, says Envive. Storage is said to be available in a four-bay “TS4T” tower unit for up to 4TB storage, or else in rack-mount units for larger installations. The latter include a 1U four-bay “TS4R” unit for 4TB to 6TB of storage, and a 2U, eight-bay “TS8R” unit for 4TB to 14TB, says Envive.

Source and more info, incl pictures, here