At my University Department we are about to upgrade the computers of our student lab (about 25-30 machines). The machines will be running Linux.
One thing about the new machines is that they have huge (1TB) hard disks (we did not ask for them, but anyways these days you cannot find considerably cheaper disks!)
Currently the users home directories are stored on a central file server and mounted via nfs.
So the question is, is there any way we could use all this disk capacity? I would think about
- expanding our central file store, or
- replicating the home directories for faster access.
The main issue would be that the lab machines are not guaranteed to be up all the time.
Browsing around this site I read about GlusterFS and AFS.
GlusterFS seems to have many friends and be a nice general purpose solution.
What about AFS? I've read that it has performance problems, any experience with it?