[Gluster-users] Netboot / PXE-Boot from glusterfs?

Benjamin Hudgens bhudgens at photodex.com
Thu Jun 17 11:15:03 UTC 2010

Hello Jan,

Our company took the approach of slurping our OS into a ram drive and
then mounting file system points from Gluster.  The OS becomes
expendable.  In our case (large amounts of dumb storage machines) this
is okay.  We were itching to get away from NFS.  Boot time is slow while
it reads directly from network -> ram.  However, the final result is an
OS that is extremely fast and no NFS dependency.

Obviously this approach is only applicable in certain situations.  

Good Luck,

-----Original Message-----
From: gluster-users-bounces at gluster.org
[mailto:gluster-users-bounces at gluster.org] On Behalf Of Jan
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 5:33 AM
To: gluster-users at gluster.org
Subject: Re: [Gluster-users] Netboot / PXE-Boot from glusterfs?

Am 17.06.2010 12:08, schrieb Daniel Maher:
> On 06/17/2010 12:00 PM, Jan wrote:
>> I could easily setup netboot the traditional way using NFS, but I
>> not have any failover/ha for that. As I understand, NFS on the
>> storage platform (gsp) does not provide failover in case the first
>> server crashes. Failover-functionality for some data being on
>> won't help when the root directory is "gone".
>> It is a kind of stupid to have a separate nfs-server just for serving
>> total of 1gb of files for some diskless servers to be able too boot
>> (actually, it would have to be 2 servers again, with failover etc..
>> doesn't make sense that all diskless servers hang/crash when the nfs
>> server crashes...). and I only need very few iscsi-luns with a total
>> 10-15gb, not doing much io.
> I think you might be confusing the concept of network booting with the

> concept of a networked file system.  The fact that a given machine can

> use a network card to download a boot image is one thing, and the fact

> that an operating system can share data over a network via a 
> POSIX-compatible mechanism is entirely another.

No, I understand that it is something different, but I just see it from 
the user/client point of view:
glusterfs is the same as NFS, I have a network-mount that I share with 
glusterfs has (because of its concept) built-in failover and seems to 
scale much better than NFS, easier to extend and so on, but for the 
client, it is basically the same.

Network booting basically means getting the kernel via tftp and then 
mounting the root filesystem via network instead of a local disk. NFS is

usually used for that. It is still a common way to do it. A little more 
difficult (but possible) way should be using glusterfs.

>> for NFS-netboot, I think there should be a way to use glusterfs
>> It's almost the same from the client point of view, the only problem
>> the FUSE-client.
> Hypothetically yes - as i mentioned in my previous email, in theory 
> there's nothing stopping you from integrating Gluster (and the 
> necessary support tools / libraries) into your boot image.

I was hoping somebody has already tried it and could point me to some 
howto or share some experiences.
I haven't done this for some years, it might take me a few days but I 
think I'll give it a try next month.


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