High-availability storage with GlusterFS on Ubuntu

This tutorial shows how to set up a high-availability storage with two storage servers (Ubuntu 9.10) that use GlusterFS.

Each storage server will be a mirror of the other storage server, and files will be replicated automatically across both storage servers. The client system (Ubuntu 9.10 as well) will be able to access the storage as if it was a local filesystem.

GlusterFS is a clustered file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes. It aggregates various storage bricks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect into one large parallel network file system. Storage bricks can be made of any commodity hardware such as x86_64 servers with SATA-II RAID and Infiniband HBA.

About Glusterfs: Gluster Storage Platform is an open source clustered storage solution. The software is a powerful and flexible solution that simplifies the task of managing unstructured file data whether you have a few terabytes of storage or multiple petabytes. Gluster Storage Platform integrates the file system, an operating system layer, and a web-based management interface and installer.

Diskless NAS shares USB storage via WiFi

The Iomega® iConnect Wireless Data Station is a simple way to bring all of your desktop and portable USB storage into your network. Plug your external USB drives or USB thumb drives (any brand) into the Iomega iConnect device and they are automatically connected to and accessible on your network. Remote access allows you to connect, share, and access your files securely from anywhere in the world via the Internet. Wireless connectivity allows you to place the Iomega iConnect device in the most convenient location in your home without having to run another cable. Taking backup data off-site for disaster recovery has never been easier. Simply back up all your networked computers through the Iomega iConnect device, and then take your hard drive off-site for safekeeping.

The Iomega iConnect device truly makes your USB drives “smart” and includes the ultimate set of advanced media features, such as the DLNA®-certified UPnP® AV media server, and iTunes™ server so that content can be easily shared between computers and any other digital media adapters such as game consoles, Iomega ScreenPlay products, digital picture frames or networked TVs. Picture Transfer Protocol, torrent download compatibility, and the Cooliris™ slide show plug-in round out the advanced media features. Embedded RSA® BSAFE® encryption for protected installs and upgrades..

LifeLine supports Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), enabling users to save, store, and play back music, photos, videos, and other digital content. The software is also said to offer an integrated iTunes server, as well as a torrent download manager for managing peer-to-peer file transfers. In addition, users can remotely access and administer the device through a personalized web address, says the company.

The Iomega® iConnect Wireless Data Station is the simple way to bring all of your USB storage into your network. Connect, share and access files anywhere – even over the Internet.

More info about features, prices etc can be found on the iConnect website

NAS, SAN, DAS or iSCSI? Which one to choose?

Choosing the right Storage Technology for Your Organization

IT Professionals has a post with some background information on the most common storage technologies that are currently available: NAS, SAN, DAN and iSCSI. If you’re running a small/medium seized business this may help you decide which one is best for you:

Although the need for storage is evident, it is not always clear which solution is right for your organization. There are a variety of options available, the most prevalent being direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SAN). Choosing the right storage solution can be as personal and individual a decision as buying a home. There is no one right answer for everyone. Instead, it is important to focus on the specific needs and long-term business goals of your organization. Several key criteria to consider include:

  • Capacity – the amount and type of data (file level or block level) that needs to be stored and shared
  • Performance – I/O and throughput requirements
  • Scalability – Long-term data growth
  • Availability and Reliability – how mission-critical are your applications?
  • Data protection – Backup and recovery requirements
  • IT staff and resources available
  • Budget concerns

While one type of storage media is usually sufficient for smaller companies, large enterprises will often have a mixed storage environment, implementing different mediums for specific departments, workgroups and remote offices. In this paper, we will provide an overview of DAS, NAS and SAN to help you determine which solution, or combination of solutions, will best help you achieve your business goals.

Read the article explaining the differences and uses of:

  • DAS: Ideal for Local Data Sharing Requirements
  • NAS: File-Level Data Sharing Across the Enterprise
  • SANs: High Availability for Block-Level Data Transfer

Google to switch to EXT4

Google is apparently in the process of migrating their current EXT2 file-systems over to the more current EXT4 file-system (Ubuntu 9.10 uses it by default)

Phoronix reports

This was brought up in a JFS benchmarking discussion. Google’s Michael Rubin shared that they chose EXT4 after benchmarking it as well as XFS and JFS (possibly with our Phoronix Test Suite carrying out some of the testing, which they have used in other areas). Their results showed EXT4 and XFS performing close to one another, but with it being easier to upgrade from EXT2 to EXT4 rather than EXT2 to XFS, they went with the easier path. Btrfs is still too experimental for Google to even consider that an option at this point.

Also they have now hired the main developer behind EXT4: Ted Ts’o

Will Google become even faster with processing large quantities of data, and displaying them to the end-user?