[Gluster-users] Ceph or Gluster for implementing big NAS

Alex Crow acrow at integrafin.co.uk
Mon Nov 12 12:22:47 UTC 2018

On 12/11/18 11:51, Premysl Kouril wrote:
> Hi,
> We are planning to build NAS solution which will be primarily used via 
> NFS and CIFS and workloads ranging from various archival application 
> to more “real-time processing”. The NAS will not be used as a block 
> storage for virtual machines, so the access really will always be file 
> oriented.
> We are considering primarily two designs and I’d like to kindly ask 
> for any thoughts, views, insights, experiences.
> Both designs utilize “distributed storage software at some level”. 
> Both designs would be built from commodity servers and should scale as 
> we grow. Both designs involve virtualization for instantiating "access 
> virtual machines" which will be serving the NFS and CIFS protocol - so 
> in this sense the access layer is decoupled from the data layer itself.
> First design is based on a distributed filesystem like Gluster or 
> CephFS. We would deploy this software on those commodity servers and 
> mount the resultant filesystem on the “access virtual machines” and 
> they would be serving the mounted filesystem via NFS/CIFS.
> Second design is based on distributed block storage using CEPH. So we 
> would build distributed block storage on those commodity servers, and 
> then, via virtualization (like OpenStack Cinder) we would allocate the 
> block storage into the access VM. Inside the access VM we would deploy 
> ZFS which would aggregate block storage into a single filesystem. And 
> this filesystem would be served via NFS/CIFS from the very same VM.
> Any advices and insights highly appreciated
> Cheers,
> Prema

For just NAS, I'd suggest looking at some of the other Distributed File 
System projects such as MooseFS, LizardFS, BeeGFS (open source), 
weka.io, Exablox (proprietary), etc. They are perhaps more suited to a 
general purpose, unstructured NAS use with a mix of file sizes and 
workloads. GlusterFS would work but we found it only gave good enough 
performance on large files (>10MB) and was too slow with directories 
containing more that a thousand or so files.



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