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Can anyone advice for a production-level, open-source shared storage (SAN) file-system?

I read about GFS and GFS2, but the first one seems a bit outdated, and the second is not considered stable for production.

Are there others I can check into?

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While not technically a "SAN," OpenFiler is quite stable and is a capable iSCSI/CIFS/SMB/NFS NAS solution. –  gravyface May 5 '11 at 20:21
Can you please clarify whether you specifically want a SAN or whether you would consider other systems? –  John Gardeniers May 6 '11 at 2:22
Does OpenFiler supports clustering of several boxes to a single virtual drive? –  SyRenity May 12 '11 at 18:25
We have SAN system (from SUN actually) available, so we looking for a Open Source solution for it. –  SyRenity May 12 '11 at 18:26
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3 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

There's OCFS2 from Oracle (OSS) that's generally considered to be quite a bit simpler than GFS2. There is a good list at wikipedia that includes both open source and commercial clustered file systems, although some of them won't apply for your needs.

Where did you read that GFS2 is not considered stable for production? Was it a recent comment from an authority on the subject?

Edit: Perhaps this list on wikipedia is a bit more to the point although it appears that OCF2 is the only other open source alternative to GFS/GFS2 in that list...

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+1 for some insightful comments and mostly for the Wikipedia link. –  Chris S May 5 '11 at 20:34
Thanks for the extensive reply. I went to OCFS2 page but it seems the last release was 3 years ago from 2008, which makes me a bit nervous of using it. Any idea if there are newer versions? –  SyRenity May 12 '11 at 18:29
The latest source package for use without Oracle's own Unbreakable Linux kernel (OCF2 1.4.7) is dated January 19, 2011 but it seems 1.4.7 was released before then in April 2010 so I'm not sure what's up. oss.oracle.com/projects/ocfs2/files/source/v1.4 –  rthomson May 12 '11 at 19:00
Thanks for the link, will give a look. –  SyRenity May 24 '11 at 20:53
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GFS is used in production for RHEL4 and RHEL5. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for you.

RHEL5 and RHEL6 officially support GFS2, with RHEL6 only supporting GFS2.

My opinion: if Red Hat considers it stable enough to support, it's stable enough to use. Most of the time.

OCFS2 might be nice, though I never used it. What annoys be about it though, it the fact that I cannot find the source to the latest version of the OCFS2 kernel module anywhere. If anyone can provide a link: much obliged :)

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I would want to clarify that san and shared storage aren't necessarily the same thing. NFS can be used for shared storage, and depending on your needs, could actually be more appropriate than san connectivity with gfs2. Another option is Lustre http://www.lustre.org, but it may be a lot more complicated than you need. GFS2 also requires the clustering software running, even if you have no need for clustering otherwise.

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Can you please clarify what you mean by NFS being more appropriate then SAN? What hardware will be used to serve NFS - a NAS server? –  SyRenity May 12 '11 at 18:27
Well, I'm not really saying that it is more appropriate in this case. It may be. I'm just saying that depending on the needs, an NFS server might server just as well. It can be a NAS server; in fact, a NAS server just seems to me to be a file server, generally. NFS and CIFS/SMB usually. But you can build your own NAS server easily, depending on how much redundancy and reliability you need. I have built several. Here is a good link linuxquestions.org/questions/red-hat-31/…. –  lsd May 13 '11 at 1:47
It references the Red Hat Cluster Suite NFS Cookbook sourceware.org/cluster/doc/nfscookbook.pdf. This one does require a san solution to provide it (the shared storage), but you can do it other ways too. –  lsd May 13 '11 at 1:51
Thanks for the link, will check it out. –  SyRenity May 24 '11 at 20:53
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