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RE: [linux-lvm] RFC: Visual Disk Administrator project



Yes. This is very good. This is definitely what LVM needs to be further
accepted in certain realms who are teetering on the brink of using/pursuing
open source alternatives. 

-- 
Austin Gonyou
Systems Architect, CCNA
Coremetrics, Inc.
Phone: 512-796-9023
email: austin coremetrics com 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason Tackaberry [mailto:tack linux com]
> Sent: Monday, August 13, 2001 7:05 PM
> To: linux-lvm sistina com
> Subject: [linux-lvm] RFC: Visual Disk Administrator project
> 
> 
> Below is an initial project plan for the GUI disk 
> administration tool I
> have been talking about that I'm calling Visual Disk Administrator
> (VDA).  This is an RFC, so please let me know of any suggestions and
> general comments you have about the proposal.  It is mostly a 
> collection
> of my thoughts over the last couple of days.  There's a URL below with
> some small mock-up images, so read on ...
> 
> -----
> 
> Primary Goal: A comprehensive GUI disk administration tool for Linux
> that makes managing software RAID devices and logical volumes 
> as simple
> and user-friendly as possible, as well as providing a 
> convenient-to-use
> interface for typical tasks such as partitioning disks, and creating,
> resizing and tuning file systems.
> 
> Under the scenes, VDA will handle partitions, physical volumes, md
> devices, and volume groups, and logical volumes (hopefully) 
> seamlessly.
> In particular, I want md and LVM to work transparently together.  You
> should be able to create a volume-managed RAID5 configuration without
> worrying about md or lvm differences.  
> 
> Consequently, this is going to sacrifice some flexibility.  But that's
> fair game for a GUI tool.  Flexibility is gotten from the command line
> and manual setup.  How much flexibility I'm talking about here is open
> for debate. 
> 
> The interface will be organized into the following categories:
> 
>  - Controllers
>  - Disks
>  - Volume Groups
>  - Logical Volumes
>  - File Systems
> 
> Each of those categories can have 2 different types of views: a tree
> view, and an object view.  The tree view is simply a hierarchical list
> of the particular category.  For example:
> 
>    controllers
>    |
>    +-- ide0
>    +-- ide1
> 
> or
> 
>    disks
>    |
>    +--- hda
>    |    |
>    |    +-- hda1
>    |    +-- hda2
>    +--- hdb
> 
> etc.
> 
> The object view is a graphical model (in a canvas) of the 
> category.  The
> main purpose of the object view is to quickly let you get an overall
> picture of your disk setup.  Ideally, the object view should 
> scale well.
> In other words, complex disk configurations should not get so visually
> cluttered that it defeats the purpose of the view.  (This is 
> harder than
> it sounds!)
> 
> I have made mock-ups of how I want to represent certain configurations
> of volume groups.  These mock-ups are modelled after screenshots of
> Veritas Volume Manager 3.0.  I welcome comments and suggestions about
> these too.  They can be viewed at:
> 
>    http://sault.org/vda/mock.html
>  
> (For those reading this email in an archive, this URL is temporary and
> will probably go away in a few weeks.)
> 
> When looking at these sketches, keep in mind that one of my 
> goals is to
> seamlessly merge LVM and md at the GUI level.
> 
> Here is a summary of the categories:
> 
> Controllers: A view of all disk controllers (SCSI and IDE initially),
> and information about the devices.  Any tuning parameters 
> available for
> the controller can be interfaced here.
> 
> Disks: A view of all hard disks attached to the known 
> controllers above.
> This view will also list partitions, and allow the user to 
> partition the
> disks or modify existing partitions.  Tuning parameters (such as
> enabling DMA on IDE disks) will be available here.  Resizing 
> partitions
> probably won't be allowed -- can LVM cope if one of its 
> physical volumes
> gets resized?
> 
> Volume Groups: A view of all LVM controlled volume groups.  This is
> where all the real LVM/md functionality will happen.  The 
> user should be
> able to create a volume group that may contain plain 
> partitions, RAID0,
> RAID1, RAID0+1, and RAID5, any number of which may be linearly
> concatenated together.  (e.g. a volume group that concatenates 3 disks
> in a RAID5 setup and 2 other disks in a RAID1 setup.)  I see md
> happening below the LVM in all cases for simplification.  In this
> section you should be able to monitor the health of your 
> volume groups,
> and any md devices inside them.  If a disk encapsulated by an 
> md device
> is failing or recovering this information should be visually obvious.
> 
> Logical Volumes: A view of all logical volumes in all volume groups.
> Here you will be able to remove, add, and resize logical volumes.
> Resizing a logical volume will also resize a filesystem (if the user
> requests it) if that filesystem supports resizing, and, of 
> course, if a
> filesystem actually exists on the logical volume.
> 
> Filesystems: A view of all known filesystems in all logical 
> volumes and
> all non-LVM-controlled partitions.  If the filesystem is mounted, it
> will show the mount point.  Resizing operations will also be available
> here if the filesystem supports it, with the option to modify the
> size of the underlying logical volume if one exists.  Also,
> filesystem-specific tuning options will be available.
> 
> -----
> 
> I haven't exactly worked out any implementation details yet.  
> I do know:
> 
>   - I'll be doing the GUI in Qt because I want to learn it, but will
>     design the GUI so it is abstracted and the VDA can be ported to
>     other toolkits.  
>   - Statically compiled versions are a must since this tool 
> is intended 
>     to be used on servers where X libraries may not exist.
>   - Interfacing with the LVM will be done through command-line tools.
> 
> Initial versions will only view existing configurations.  The 
> ability to
> actually modify or create volume groups will come once I get enough
> feedback and am satisfied with the quality of the design.
> 
> Naturally a project like this must undergo intensive testing 
> in lots of
> different environments.  Fortunately I have some different hardware at
> my disposal, but I hope after the initial design that releases will be
> frequent, and there will be enough interest to generate sufficient
> user-feedback.
> 
> So, let the comments begin!
> 
> TIA,
> Jason.
> 
> --
> Academic Computing Support Specialist         Assistant Section Editor
> Algoma University College                     http://linux.com/develop
> Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario                 
> 705-949-2301 x330                                   Personal Home Page
> http://www.auc.ca                                     http://sault.org
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