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I want to pool a large number of hard drives over the network to provide a large backup space.

I want also to partition this space and make it available to several machines as a backup space.

I understand ceph can pool the hard drives, but it doesnt support quotas. Should I create several devices inside ceph? or should I expose it via an ftp server?

can someone explain me what is the best way to use ceph?

Possible answer:

It seems I should use block devices http://ceph.com/docs/master/rbd/rbd/

I.e.: I should make a block device of the desidered size, then mount it on the VM for backup purpose. Is this right? How do I limit a block device to a given user?

Can I achieve the same with CephFS?

  • This is just an out of the box idea but I'm using BackupPC to take backups. If that suits your requirement you've found a for more easy solution. – Bart van Kleef Dec 9 '14 at 7:52
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The RADOS object store in Ceph does now support quotas.

The RBD feature is typically used to create a block device to be used by a virtual machine guest.

  • RBD can be used for more than just virtual machine guests... e.g. netboot native to rbd device. Just got that working. – Matt May 7 '14 at 0:13
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Ceph may be perhaps too complicated for this.

You could just have a separate server connected to multiple iSCSI targets (the servers with the disks) and use LVM to create a single volume group (perhaps using LVM mirroring), then use the flexibility of LVM to offer backup volumes. The server could export the LVM logical volumes in various ways (NFS, CIFS, FTP etc).

http://koo.fi/blog/2009/06/10/redundant-iscsi-storage-for-linux/ details an example configuration of this.

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