Status of iSCSI

Forrest Aldrich forrie at
Tue Sep 28 22:42:26 PDT 2004

[ John, * is a painful source of spam for me, so it's 
blocked here; sorry ]

We've considered the NFS route, too; and it's been a while since I've used it.

I forgot about mount limitations within NFS.

There are some arguments against this scenario (internally) which I will have to
further gather data upon.

Another concern in the design is allocating the accounts in a balanced way across
the various mount points.  Delicate matter - since not every user is going to have
the same email habits.

I'd be curious of performance stats you may have experience with on this 
scenario.   We could could also get a NAS-type device that isn't as high-end as
Netapp (Snap Appliance?).


(Forrest - Had to post to list too as my mail also bounced back)

Not sure if your budget can handle it, but if I where you....

I would stick with NFS over GigE network. But go with a very robust 
hardened NFS soluton, like a NetApp FAS960 Fileserver. Throughput is 
very good, SPOF is non-existent, the disk shelves are fiber channel so 
you can start with 0.5Tb and scale as high (30Tb) as you want on the 
fly (within nfs filesystem mount limits).

A good NetApp system with 1/2 a terabyte will run you around $70,000 
(last time I checked). Can be lower through refurb and/or second hand 

There are cheaper alternatives but these are no where near the 
performance level of the NetApp units.


On Sep 28, 2004, at 11:47 PM, Forrest Aldrich wrote:

> [Scott, sorry about the bounced mail - it was an old IP block I had, 
> it's fixed now.]
> I'm working on a project that requires a scalable mail store, which is 
> poised to support 25k users initially, but scale to 100's of thousands 
> of users.
> The budget won't provide for a SAN right now; iSCSI is a little new, 
> but unfortunately it's not supported in FreeBSD at this time.
> I've been looking into the storage market areas specifically of Linux 
> and/vs FreeBSD.   A Linux/NAS/iSCSI model and that of a 
> FreeBSD/NAS/NFS model -- not sure we want to do direct storage at this 
> time, if we did, we'd need to plan how that purchased hardware would 
> fit into a larger plan.
> NAS has the advantage of being independent; some have their own OS and 
> most have redundancies in place. I'm not sure if  it's possible to 
> dual-attach Linux or FreeBSD boxes to a FC fabric; a while ago, that 
> wasn't possible.
> The front-end servers will be split up into scalable groups - ie: some 
> servers doing SpamAssassin, some antivirus, some MTA-in and MTA-out, 
> etc.
> The common denomenator, and driving factor of this design, is the 
> backend mail store.   I'd like to explore what (realistic) options 
> FreeBSD may have here - as I dread the thought of Linux-anything in 
> this scenario.
> All input/feedback welcomed.
> Forrest
> There was an implementation done by Lucent last year for 4.x, but it 
> has
> a sticky license and is probably out of date. I and several others see
> iSCSI as something that really needs to get done, but the 3-4 months of
> development time is more than can be done on evenings and weekends. I
> would also want to do it 'right' and implement new infrastructure in 
> to accompany it rather than making it monolithic like the Lucent
> implementation.
> What kind of project do you need it for, and what kind of resources do
> you have right now?
> Scott
> Forrest Aldrich wrote:
> > I read the April 2004 report (on; presuming that's
> > up-to-date, it may be a while before we have iSCSI support in 
> FreeBSD.
> > I wanted to verify here, etc.
> >
> > I'm involved in a project that will require something of that nature.
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Forrest
> >
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