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PLUG Meeting: GlusterFS

Aaron Toponce will present about GlusterFS, a scale-out clustered filesystem for storage high availability. It's open source, dual-licensed under the GPL v2 or the LGPL v3. It uses either Ethernet or Infiniband for the interconnect between the storage nodes, which means it's supports TCP/IP, RDMA and SDP.

GlusterFS is setup using servers and clients, where clients use the FUSE driver to communicate with the servers. Servers communicate with each other, and are setup via exporting "bricks" to the cluster. It uses eventual consistency, versus strong consistency, for data integrity.

Rather than using a centralized metadata storage server, such as MooseFS or Ceph, it uses an elastic hashing algorithm to determine where data is to be stored, and retrieved. GlusterFS also supports geo-replication, for having a mirror of the cluster stored elsewhere for disaster recovery.

I'll show how to setup a basic 3-node storage cluster, discussing some server topologies. I'll mention the differences between:

* Distributed volumes
* Replicated volumes
* Striped volumes
* Distributed replicated volumes
* Distributed striped volumes

I'll only be concerned about covering the features under version 3.3, as 3.4 has not yet released, although I'll mention some things we should see when it releases. I'll also be making some light comparisons to other clustered storage technologies, in case anyone is familiar with those already. I'll be using ZFS on Linux as the underlying filesystem of choice in the presentation.

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