[CentOS] using Linux as a NAS / SAN device

nate centos at linuxpowered.net
Thu Aug 27 23:37:39 UTC 2009

Rudi Ahlers wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm looking at using Linux as a NAS / SAN device, and would like some
> input from other's who have done this before?

I've bought two SAN devices in the past couple years, both run
Debian and both are tier 1 enterprise storage arrays. Of course
you wouldn't know they ran Debian or linux unless you tried
to telnet to them on port 22 and saw the SSH banner.

My active-active NAS head units runs CentOS 4.4 on IBM hardware
(back end disk storage provided by above array)

> How would it compare to commercial SAN devices, Thecus N8800SAS
> (http://www.thecus.com/products_over.php?cid=11&pid=177&set_language=english)
> or something similar to these?
> I would probably use hardware RAID 10, and could go with either SAS /
> SATA, and then probably offer iSCSI, Samba. NFS & rsync.
> In terms of servers hardware, well either Tyan / SuperMicro / Intel /
> Dell would be fine as well. But, my question is rather from a linux
> point of view, how would Linux compare to dedicated NAS devices, in
> terms of the OS managing the device?

If you use a purpose-built appliance OS it should be pretty
comparable, e.g. openfiler or freenas(bsd based?) to something
like a Thecus. I used openfiler about 1.5 years ago mostly for
iSCSI and it worked ok, at one point had 4 shelves of HP MSA
SCSI disk drives attached to it each connected to dedicated
RAID cards on an older HP DL585.

I'm looking to get a Thecus N770 myself pretty soon, mainly for
the smaller integrated form factor with many drive bays.


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