[Linux-cluster] GFS with ATA/IDE drives

Ken Preslan kpreslan at redhat.com
Wed Jun 30 20:06:04 UTC 2004

On Wed, Jun 30, 2004 at 10:51:39AM -0400, CC wrote:
> We're looking at a project where we need 20+ small computers.
> Would like to use the internal storage with GFS.
> Thus, my questions: 
> 1. Does GFS support ATA/IDE drives? (I see SCSI and FC in the docs) 2. If
> yes, is it recommended by Red Hat 3. Is it better to use iSCSI or GNDB (any
> know issues)
> Thank you
> CC

GFS will happily run on IDE disks.  The big trick is getting the machines
so they can share access to them.

The most simple setup is to have one machine with a big pile of IDE disks 
export thost disks to an IP network with GNBD (or iSCSI).  The client
machines (running GFS) then import the disks from the GNBD server and
GFS manages the concurrent access.  A setup like that works fine.  The
problem is the one GNBD server is a single point of failure.  If that one
machine dies, they whole cluster dies.

Getting around the SPOF makes things more complicated.  You would need
two GNBD servers, each with a pile of internal IDE disks (of the same size).
The client machines (running GFS and CLVM) use CLVM's mirroring target
to maintain identical copies of the filesystem's data on both GNBD servers.
That way, if one GNBD server dies, the GFS cluster can continue running
on the other GNBD server.

Unfortunately, the mirroring target for CLVM is still being written.
So, a SPOF-free IDE disk setup isn't possible right now.  If you can stand
the SPOF, go ahead and try out the one GNBD server.

Ken Preslan <kpreslan at redhat.com>

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