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[Linux-cluster] Questions about GFS



Hello,

I have been researching GFS for a few days, and I have some questions that hopefully some seasoned users of GFS may be able to answer.

I am working on the design of a linux cluster that needs to be scalable, it will be primarily an RDBMS-driven data warehouse used for data mining and content indexing. In an ideal world, we would be able to start with a small (say 4 node) cluster, then add machines (and storage) as the various RDBMS' grow in size (as well as the use virtual IPs for load balancing across multiple lighttpd instances. All machines on the node need to be able to talk to the same volume of information, and GFS (in theory at least) would be used to aggregate the drives from each machine into that huge shared logical volume).

With that being said, here are some questions:

1) What is the preference on the RDBMS, will MySQL 5.x work and are there any locking issues to consider? What would the best open source RDBMS be (MySQL vs. Postgresql etc) 2) If there was a 10 machine cluster, each with a 300GB SATA drive, can you use GFS to aggregate all 10 drives into one big logical 3000GB volume? Would that scenario work similar to a RAID array? If one or two nodes fail, but the GFS quorum is maintained, can those nodes be replaced and repopulated just like a RAID-5 array? If this scenario is possible, how difficult is it to "grow" the shared logical volume by adding additional nodes (say I had two more machines each with a 300GB SATA drive)? 3) How stable is GFS currently, and is it used in many production environments? 4) How stable is the FC5 version, and does it include all of the configuration utilities in the RH Enterprise Cluster version? (the idea would be to prove the point on FC5, then migrate to RH Enterprise). 5) Would CentOS be preferred over FC5 for the initial proof of concept and early adoption? 6) Are there any restrictions or performance advantages of using all drives with the same geometry, or can you mix and match different size drives and just add to the aggregate volume size?

Thanks in advance,

Greg


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