[OT] Re: [CentOS] Filers, filesystems, etc.

Bryan J. Smith thebs413 at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 9 11:07:21 UTC 2005

On Wed, 2005-11-09 at 11:00 +0100, Henk van Lingen wrote:
> Hi Bryan,
> Please tell. I have to replace our old Sun Enterprise fileserver
> (solaris8), which does NFS and Samba (homedirectories, projects file
> space).  It will be x86 hardware, but I'm looking for the best filesystem
> for the job (let's say one terabyte). It has to have quota and ACL support.

NetApp is very costly per $ versus traditional file storage.  But the
Data OnTap OS with WAFL filesystem was basically designed by 2 of Sun's
original NFS designers.  WAFL works very different than most traditional
UNIX server filesystems.

The WAFL filesystem has a couple of different modes for network
filesystem protocol access.  One catered towards NFS, another catered
towards SMB -- but you can access from both simultaneously, there are
just considerations.

Solaris/x86-64 has a good bang-for-the-buck, and UFS supports quotas as
well as Samba 3 ACLs.  I haven't used their new filesystem with Samba
though (anyone, anyone?).

> I'm doing CentOS on servers these days, but I presume ext3 is not the
> best choice in this case. Previous postings of yours suggest XFS is the
> way to go. However, it seems hard to find an enterprise class linux
> distro with XFS incorporated?

Unfortunately, I'm finding it difficult to recommend XFS on Linux at
this point.  Not until Red Hat gets serious about it.

> And how does a FreeBSD solution compare to linux/ext3 or linux/xfs?

XFS is being ported to FreeBSD, as some of the licensing issues have
been worked out.  But I wouldn't trust it anywhere close to even Linux
at this point.

I'm a little outta date on FreeBSD and Samba, the last time I used Samba
on FreeBSD was version 2.2 several years ago (yes, yes, I know, quite
hypocritical for the guy who wrote the BSD appendix in "Samba Unleashed"
-- but that was 5 years ago).

> What are the considerations in case of a NAS filer instead of a raid-box
> connected to hostmachine?

Nothing really.  I mean, you traditionally don't have full
shell/filesystem access in a NetApp filer, and you need a "sister admin
system" (one system with special mounts) to administer some "/etc"
files, but otherwise, they are pretty nice.

Especially for fail-over, but it'll cost you.

Bryan J. Smith     b.j.smith at ieee.org     http://thebs413.blogspot.com
The best things in life are NOT free - which is why life is easiest if
you save all the bills until you can share them with the perfect woman

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