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[Linux-cluster] Advice on Storage Hardware



We're planning on building a cluster to handle web operations but
we've run into a dilemma on storage. From all the reading I've done it
appears that the best case would a fibre channel SAN with GFS; however
we'd like to keep the cost down but still retain very reliable
storage.

In our cost cutting efforts I've come up with an idea that I think
would float, but that our hardware vendor (whose trying to sell us the
SAN) doesn't think is possible.

I'd like to replace a SAN device with 2 servers clustered together and
connected to an external SCSI array. Only one of the servers would be
accessing the array, the other would just be a standby in case of a
failover. The accessing server would use GNBD and GFS to export the
block device to all clients which of course would run the clients of
GNBD and GFS.

The documentation seems to imply this is a viable alternative to a SAN
but I'd like to know if anyone is using this type of setup or if there
would be a reason why it wouldn't work properly. I would appreciate
any help since I'm not an expert on this yet. (but should be soon due
to RedHats courses).

All servers in the cluster will have dual ethernet, etc so hopefully
bandwidth shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks in advance.
David Brieck


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