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Old 16th November 2009
plexter plexter is offline
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Question Span Disk Space

Hi all,

I am wondering if there is a way to use multiple OpenBSD (or FreeBSD...etc) machines disk space to represent one drive. Kind of like RAID except between machines. Using a package/port or software of some kind. :P

I have not been very successful in my searches. Perhaps I am not using the right words.

Code:
Example

OpenBSD-1----partitionX(40G)----->|
OpenBSD-2----partitionX(40G)----->|combined|-> OpenBSD-4-->partitionX(120G)
OpenBSD-3----partitionX(40G)----->|
Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 16th November 2009
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AFS.

The client is included with OpenBSD. OpenAFS server in ports.
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Old 17th November 2009
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Hmm interesting. Thanks for the info. A friend also mentioned (since I made the post) iScsi, any thoughts on the difference?

Thanks!
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Old 17th November 2009
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They do not compare, directly, with one another. AFS is a distributed filesystem, where the data on the server(s) is distributed. iSCSI is a technology for carrying SCSI I/O commands over IP networks. The value of the latter is as a "remote" storage device. There is, today, no iSCSI support on OpenBSD, so the question is moot.
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Old 17th November 2009
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There are other alternatives. You could, I suppose mount your remote drives with NFS, and then use vnconfig(8) to create devices from files you create within them, then use ccd(4) or softraid(8) to combine them. I doubt you'd like the performance, and debugging a problem within all those layers is probably beyond the average admin.
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Old 18th November 2009
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Oh I understood iSCSI was available. It is on FreeBSD. Oh well as you state does not make much difference if it does not solve my problem.

Is AFS considered stable/reliable?

How about expandable? Would I be able to "add" drives in the future to increase space?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 18th November 2009
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OpenBSD comes with an audited version of the arla project's AFS client, built in. I would consider that client stable, by its very nature (it is not the latest, of course). Public AFS servers are even listed in the Getting Releases page of the OpenBSD Project website.

Learn more about operating the client from $ man -k afs.

The OpenAFS project server's roots are an open source branch of IBM's AFS, based on the original CMU/Transarc AFS server, granted to the public when IBM took AFS off the market. Stable? AFS dates from 1983.

Start with the OpenAFS website. There is plenty of documentation there; the Administrator's guide will tell you what you need to know to architect a solution.
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Old 20th November 2009
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Okay cool. I will play around with that and see how it goes.

Thanks for your help/info.
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Old 20th November 2009
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Notes:
  • The OpenAFS Project has its own client, which its documentation refers to. Most of the commands are the same as the Arla Project's client.
  • To configure the Arla client, start with /etc/afs/README. /etc/afs/CellServDB is a list of public AFS cells -- those in the "Global Namespace", mostly at universities.
  • I've only run a private AFS cell, and have not done so in a year or more, so I'm probably little rusty on specifics, should you have any questions.

Last edited by jggimi; 20th November 2009 at 08:14 PM.
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