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[Linux-cluster] Complexity and use of GFS on non-redhat OS (CentOS, Fedora)



Hi,

I would like to use GFS to enable multiple clients to access one large
filesystem supported via an iSCSI SAN. The files are written once and
then only read or deleted. In some ways GFS may be overkill for this
application (because I do not need to support appending/writing to a
file once its created) but it enables multiple clients access to a
single filesystem.

I know that GFS and the Linux Cluser are available on red Hat Enterprise
as well as CentOS and Fedora. I believe the cost of RH is very large
($1000 per client for RHEL plus another $2200 per client for the cluster
software) and I am seeking an alternative...

I would appreciate feedback concerning these items:

1) is the CentOS or Fedora Core 6 version of Cluster "production ready"
2) Does anyone have an experience that they can share using these other
OS to install and configure GFS?
3) If I use CentOS and add the Linux Cluster (I am talking about the
link on their site to download GFS et al.) what is involved (assuming
that I can start with the latest Cent OS) in terms of installation to
make it work?
4) Similar to above but with Fedora Core 6 - what extra work do I need
to do to install Linux Cluster + GFS (I', referring to things like
recompiling the kernel, putting in a kernel patch, installing RPMs etc.).
5) Is it advisable to put millions of files in a single directory? I
know that GFS has published limits of how many files per directory etc.
(although I can't recall the exact numbers right now) but is it OK to go
up to these limits without a performance penalty?
5a) Has anyone had experience with a large number of files or
directories per directory that was still under the limits published for
GFS where they ran into performance issues?

Any ideas on a good, clean way to get Linux Cluster + GFS running on our
system is appreciated.

Mike



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