Storage cluster advise, anybody?

David Christensen dpchrist at
Sat Apr 23 01:55:13 UTC 2016

On 04/22/2016 12:17 PM, Valeri Galtsev wrote:
> I would like to ask everybody: what would you advise to use as a storage
> cluster, or as a distributed filesystem.
> My requirements are:
> 1. I would like to have one big (say, comparable to petabyte) filesystem,
> accessible on more than one machine, composed of disk space leftovers on a
> bunch of machines having 1 gigabit per second ethernet connections
> 2. It can be a bit slow, as filesystem one would need for backups onto it
> (say, using bacula or bareos), and/or for long term storage of large
> datasets, portions of which can be copied over to faster storage for
> processing if necessary. I would be thinking in 1-2 TB of data written to
> it daily.
> 3. It would be great to have it single machine failure/reboot resilient
> 4. metadata machines should be redundant (or at least backup medatada host
> should be manually convertible into master metadata host if fatal failure
> to master or corruption of its data happens)
> What I would like to avoid/exclude:
> 1. Proprietary commercial solutions, as:
> a. I would like to stay on as minimal budget as possible
> b. I want to be able to predict that it will exist for long time, and I
> have better experience with my predictions of this sort about open source
> projects as opposed to proprietary ones
> 2. Open source solutions using portions of proprietary closed source
> binaries/libraries (e.g., I would like to stay away from google
> proprietary code/binaries/libraries/modules)
> 3. Kernel level modifications. I really would like to have this
> independent of OS as much as I can, or rather available on multiple OSes
> (though I do not like Java based things - just my personal experience with
> some of them). I have a bunch of Linux boxes and a bunch of FreeBSD boxes,
> and I do not want to exclude neither of them if possible. Also, the need
> to have custom Linux kernel specifically scares me: Linux kernels get
> critical updates often, and having customizations lagging behind the need
> of critical update is as unpleasant as rebooting the machine because of
> kernel update is.
> I'm not too scared of a "split nature" projects: proprietary projects
> having open source satellite. I have mixed experience with those, using
> open source satellite I mean. Some of them are indeed not neglected, and
> even though you may be missing some features commercial counterpart has,
> some are really great ones: they are just missing commercial support, and
> maybe having a bit sparse documentation, thus making you to invest more
> effort into making it work, which I don't mind: I can earn my sysadmin's
> salary here. I would say I more often had good experience with those than
> bad one (and I have a list of early indications of potential bad outcome,
> so I can more or less predict my future with this kind of projects).
> <rant> ... moosefs. ...

If you want solution that works on both BSD and Linux, FUSE comes to mind:

Are all the file system storage member computers located in one room? 
In one building?  In one campus?

You say "composed of disk space leftovers on a bunch of machines".  How 
many machines?  What form of leftovers -- whole disks, whole partitions, 
block-contiguous files, non-contiguous files?

Do you need checksumming, mirroring, RAID, caching, whatever?

What are your degradation expectations in the face of missing/ 
unresponsive member machines?  Failing drives/ files?

Are you going to serve the file system via NFS? Samba? Other?

You indicate 1-2 TB/day of writes, expected to be backups and dataset 
archives. What sort of read traffic do you expect? How many connected 
clients? How many hitting it at the same time? Any usage spikes (say, 
everyone downloading files at work start, everyone uploading or backing 
up at quiting time)?


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list