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Re: [Linux-cluster] GFS limits?



On Tue, 13 Jul 2004 20:17:07 -0700, Don MacAskill <don smugmug com> wrote:
> 
> 
> Brian Jackson wrote:
> 
> >
> > The code that most people on this list are interested in currently is
> > the code in cvs which is for 2.6 only. 2.6 has a config option to
> > enable using devices larger than 2TB. I'm still reading through all
> > the GFS code, but it's still architecturally the same as when it was
> > closed source, so I'm pretty sure most of my knowledge from OpenGFS
> > will still apply. GFS uses 64bit values internally, so you can have
> > very large filesystems (larger than PBs).
> >
> 
> This is nice.  I was specifically thinking of 64bit machines, in which
> case, I'd expect it to be 9EB or something.
> 
> >
> >>Our current (homegrown) solution will scale very well for quite some
> >>time, but eventually we're going to get saturated with write requests to
> >>individual head units.  Does GFS intelligently "spread the load" among
> >>multiple storage entities for writing under high load?
> >
> >
> > No, each node that mounts has direct access to the storage. It writes
> > just like any other fs, when it can.
> >
> 
> So, if I have a dozen seperate arrays in a given cluster, it will write
> data linearly to array #1, then array #2, then array #3?  If that's the
> case, GFS doesn't solve my biggest fear - write performance with a huge
> influx of data.  I'd hoped it might somehow "stripe" the data across
> individual units so that we can aggregate the combined interface
> bandwidth to some extent.

That's not the job of the filesystem, that should be done at the block
layer with clvm/evms2/etc.

> 
> 
> >
> >>Does it always
> >>write to any available storage units, or are there thresholds where it
> >>expands the pool of units it writes to?  (I'm not sure I'm making much
> >>sense, but we'll see if any of you grok it :)
> >
> >
> > I think you may have a little misconception about just what GFS is.
> > You should check the WHATIS_OpenGFS doc at
> > http://opengfs.sourceforge.net/docs.php It says OpenGFS, but for the
> > most part, the same stuff applies to GFS.
> >
> 
> I've read it, and quite a few other documents and whitepapers on GFS
> quite a few times, but perhaps you're right - I must be missing
> something.  More on this below...
> 
> 
> >>I notice the pricing for GFS is $2200.  Is that per seat?  And if so,
> >>what's a "seat"?  Each client?  Each server with storage participating
> >>in the cluster?  Both?  Some other distinction?
> >
> >
> > Now I definitely know you have some misconception. GFS doesn't have
> > any concept of server and client. All nodes mount the fs directly
> > since they are all directly connected to the storage.
> >
> 
> Hmm, yes, this is probably my sticking point.  It was my understanding
> (or maybe just my hope?) that servers could participate as "storage
> units" in the cluster by exporting their block devices, in addition to
> FC or iSCSI or whatever devices which aren't techincally 'servers'.

You can technically use anything that the kernel sees as a block
device, but I'd hesitate to put gnbd (and a few other solutions) into
a production environment currently.

> 
> In other words, I was thinking/hoping that the cluster consisted of
> block units aggregated into a filesystem, and that the filesystem could
> consist of FC RAID devices, iSCSI solutions, and "dumb servers" that
> just exported their local disks to the cluster FS.

Like I said, you can techincally do it, but it's not the filesystems
job, that should all happen at the block layer.

> 
> Am I totally wrong?  I guess it's GNDB I don't totally understand, so
> I'd better go read up on it.

GNBD is just a way to export a block device to another host over a
network (similar in concept to iSCSI/HyperSCSI)

--Brian

> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Don
> 
> 
> 
>


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