[CentOS] Setting up Linux File Servers in a University Environment

Fri Jul 24 00:56:19 UTC 2009
Filipe Brandenburger <filbranden at gmail.com>


On Thu, Jul 23, 2009 at 20:33, Clint Dilks<clintd at scms.waikato.ac.nz> wrote:
> My initial research suggests that the only real alternative to NFS in
> this context is ISCSI or perhaps the combination of ISCSI and GFS.

iSCSI and GFS would be good if you have a small number of powerful and
highly available nodes running a critical application such as a
database server.

For home directories NFS is still the most appropriate protocol to use.

If you want scalability and high availability, you might set up a
couple of servers using a GFS filesystem and have both of them serve
NFS to the clients, but GFS is not a "set up and forget" kind of
technology and if you don't have the knowledge or resources I believe
it will actually cause more downtimes than it can prevent...

For simple scalability, I suggest you set up multiple NFS servers and
spread home directories of different users in different NFS servers.
You may use automount with LDAP in order to define in which server a
specific user's home directory is.

If you want something more robust and with more features (like thin
provisioning, writable snapshots, etc.) you might look into NAS
storage such as NetApp or Celerra or Isilon or BlueArc. Most of those
are available in dual-head setups for high availability. But if you go
with those, expect a different kind of price tag...