On 6/3/05, Paul A. Houle <ph18(a)cornell.edu> wrote:
> The storage appliance project faces the more serious problem
> that my home
> network (and many others) is heterogenous: i'd really like a global
> filesystem that works with Linux, MacOS and Windows, never mind a
> planned Solaris 10/x86 test machine and a stack of 32-bit and 64-bit
> machines that I'm going to install whatever OS I can to run on them.
NFS? Samba? ;-)
Global filesystem, not network filesystem.
iSCSI works at the block level: a global filesystem is one where a
number of computers can share a block device and all make updates to
the filesystem without trashing it. Redhat bought Sistina and makes
one (GPL) that works w/ Linux.
In principle, an iSCSI target takes 3-5 times less CPU power to run
than NFS does. Also, NFS sucks in a number of ways, performance
isn't really that good, filesystem semantics aren't quite right.
Advocates of iSCSI think that iSCSI appliances would appeal to people
in the SOHO market, but the lack of a universal filesystem makes
that a pipe dream. (+manageability problems)
Yeah, I could configure my extra machine as an NFS or Samba server,
but that's not much of a hacking projhect. (If I do do this
project, I probably will install GFS, have it mount itself and
provide NFS and Samba to the non-Linux machines on the network.)
Half of this is about screwing around w/ iSCSI, the other half is
evaluation of GFS which we might want to use for a cluster system a
few years from now.