[CentOS] using CentOS as an iSCSI server?

Ross Walker rswwalker at gmail.com
Wed Oct 21 13:57:38 UTC 2009

On Oct 21, 2009, at 5:38 AM, Rudi Ahlers <rudiahlers at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Rainer,
> I honestly don't want to spend a lot of cash on a proprietary system
> like NetApp and actually want to use a lot of old tower machines (i.e.
> limited space for hard drives, and no redundancy, slower CPU's, etc)
> we already have. CentOS is my preferred OS of choice, and I don't know
> Solaris, at all. I could probably give it a go, but not right now.
> The setup I'm hoping to achieve is as follows:
> We develop a lot of PHP + MySQL based intranet and internet
> applications, so the main server currently runs Apache + PHP + MySQL +
> Zend, etc.
> Some of the applications require large volumes of data which is
> currently saved on the sambas server. This makes it easy, as any one
> on the LAN can add / remove data to the SMB server, and the PHP app
> can also access it. But I still have a problem, that if the storage
> runs out, and I add another box to the network, then it's a different
> server with a new storage point - not ideal.
> I was hoping with iSCSI to join these storage servers into one large
> storage volume, together with XFS (or ClusterFS / GclusterFS?) and
> thus have anyone connect to one "central server", both for
> development, file storage and even email. Everything runs on Gigabit
> switches, so that's not a problem, and redundancy isn't the highest
> issue either.I'm not too concerned with that, for this particular
> project.
> So, trying to use existing hardware, and preferably CentOS (I would
> prefer not to reinstall the server right now), what else (if iSCSI
> isn't right) would I rather use,if I want to consolidate the storage
> of a few Linux machines, and export it over the LAN to various
> workstations?
> Another project altogether though would require a similar setup with
> cheap central storage server(s) at a data centre - but this will
> purely be a storage server for XEN virtual machines to connect to, and
> store backup data. For this OpenFiler works very well at the moment.


How about exporting these disperse storage units via NBD or AoE to an  
iSCSI head server that can create a redundant array out of them using  
mdraid and then re-export via iSCSI or NFS/CIFS.

You might be able to put the NBD/AoE functionality on a PXE boot image  
so if a machine boots that image it automatically exports all 'sd'  
devices as network block devices and the head server can use those to  
build an array of network block devices.


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