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  • OCFS/GFS/other, what do you prefer for Linux and why?

  • Are there any solutions for Windows servers? Especially interested to share the same partition between Linux & Windows.

Personally I am have an experience only with OCFS2 and find it stable only on SLES10.

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Anything new when it comes to this question? Have things changed in the last two years at all? –  Jed Daniels Sep 13 '11 at 6:08

7 Answers 7

Seriously consider Sun's open-source CFS Lustre

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GFS2 was until 5.3 a "technology preview", even though the documentation for RHCS gave specific instructions for it. I can't speak to it in 5.3 because I gave up on it.

I have heard good things about Lustre and OCFS. I have also gathered from listening to a lot of people that (if you have the disk space available) DRBD is an excellent way to go. Unfortunately, I'm yet to try it.

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OCFS is really good :-) –  Antoine Benkemoun Jun 4 '09 at 5:02
    
DRBD is good at what it does but it's for mirroring disk volumes between machines for failover/redundancy/local read performance reasons, not aggregating networked disks into one big pool of storage. –  David Hicks Jun 4 '09 at 12:12

I discussed some of the merits and drawbacks ... well, ok, the drawbacks, of ocfs2 in a production environment over in another question.

Long story short: Cool toys, but make sure you reallyreallyreallyREALLY need the featureset before you deploy it, or you might deploy yourself into a corner. You'll watch your permissible downtime dribble away through your fingers as lights blink and disks spin incomprehensibly.

k.i.s.s - keep IT simple, stupid. Note the caps.

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We had a similar experience with OCFS2 on SLES10, except in our case we had to spend a week down to one machine running from backup while I "almost" got OCFS2 up and running again. Now we run NFS + heartbeat and all is well –  Mark Porter Jun 4 '09 at 19:35

Take a look at chirp http://www.cse.nd.edu/~ccl/software/chirp/ . It is pretty straightforward to setup and should run both on Linux and Windows

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We use GFS on RHEL 5.3 and CentOS 5.3 with no issues. From what I see, Windows support is in its infancy though.

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You may want to check out GlusterFS. It's Linux-only, but very configurable. One of the advantages is the lack of needing extra metadata servers if you're starting out small.

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Are there any solutions for Windows servers?

NBD Server for Windows might be the answer:

http://www.vanheusden.com/windows/nbdsrvr/

It allows you to share disk blocks from Windows machines to a Linux server. You can aggregate those blocks into a RAID array of some kind (use Linux software RAID, MDADM) using NBD on your Linux server:

http://nbd.sourceforge.net/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mdadm

I'm inclined to think that machines providing shared network block devices are going to want second network cards.

Especially interested to share the same partition between Linux & Windows.

You can format your new volume and share it as a Samba share.

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smbfs/cifs has a lot of problems. especially with a random writes inside a large files. –  disserman Jun 4 '09 at 16:25

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