[CentOS] I need storage server advice

Tue May 6 20:29:57 UTC 2008
Ross S. W. Walker <rwalker at medallion.com>

Ed Morrison wrote:
> Hi:
> I need advice on implementing a storage server.  I really do not have 
> the $ to spend for a Dell iSCSI storage divice and I am thinking 
> trunning CentOS 5.x with ftp or FreeNAS.  Here is what I am looking at 
> and concerned about.
> Situation:
> My current storage needs are approximately 1.5 TB annually. This will 
> increase to about 3.5 TB annually over the next 5 years (rough est.).  
> This box will just be a data archive and once it is full it will only be 
> used very infrequently if not used at all. Files are small up to 10 MB 
> but numerous.

Well that's a hell of a lot of storage for a cheap project. Instead of
a Dell MD3000 appliance try a Dell 860 1u server (Quad Xeon) with the
LSI PERC 5e 256/512MB RAID controller there you can chain up to 3
MD1000 JBOD SATA enclosures to it. It can handle mixed SAS/SATA drives
and can hold 45 spindles across 3 enclosures per 1u server.

The 1u device will be a SPOF but you wanted cheap...

> CentOS:
> Upgrading to the newer CentOS flavors.  I will not have the ability to 
> archive this data to tape and I am concerned about loosing the data when 
> upgrading the OS.  How best to handle this?

With the 1u server you can always upgrade the OS as the data is stored
externally. Hell you can even swap out the 1u 860 for say a 2u 2950
as needs grow which gives better redundancy as well as internal storage
for snapshots or some other use. Just get the 860 with 2x250GB drives,
and create a software mirror out of them. You can always break the mirror,
upgrade the OS and if it works re-mirror, otherwise boot the old half
and re-mirror.

> Storage limitation.  It is my understanding that there is a 2 TB storage 
> limitation with Linux (and windows) in general particularly for 
> stability.  I see that ReiserFS can go up to 16 TB.  Is any one using 
> this?  If so, how has it been for you?

ext3 can go up to 8TB, xfs and jfs can go up to 1EB which should hold

> FreeNAS
> Anyone using FreeNAS?  What is your experience?  How easy is it to add 
> new drives and keep your data?  Upgrading to newer versions?

You can also check out OpenFiler which has NAS and iSCSI included.


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