March Meeting: GlusterFS (Aaron Toponce)

Steve Meyers steve-plug at
Wed Mar 6 12:14:33 MST 2013

Date: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: UVU Business Resource Center
Presenter: Aaron Toponce

GlusterFS is 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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