Secure storage with GlusterFS

Other Cool GlusterFS Tricks

Because you can add and remove storage bricks from a volume, you can add entirely new servers and remove existing servers. Thus, you can remove dying hardware from your storage pool with minimal interruptions. Because the back-end data storage is simply a filesystem like XFS or ext4, and the metadata is contained within the files, you can easily back up your GlusterFS data on the storage servers. You also can monitor the contents of files easily by, for example, scanning for viruses or rootkits without having to depend on the clients mounting and using the data.

GlusterFS can also provide data storage to OpenStack Swift, Glance, and Cinder clients, and it can provide Hadoop HDFS storage, among other capabilities. Because GlusterFS uses a plugin architecture, in the longer term, it will be possible for more capabilities to be added and for GlusterFS to be extended – for example, by adding file encryption or multitenancy support per volume.

The future of storage on Linux is bright. Several solutions (e.g., GlusterFS, Ceph) that are under very active development allow you to create distributed, replicated, and high-performance storage systems with the use of cheap hardware. If you aren't already using these, I suggest you investigate them. Not having to worry about disk or server failure bringing down your storage back end is a good thing indeed.

Infos

  1. GlusterFS download: http://www.gluster.org/download/
  2. A kernel change breaks GlusterFS: http://lwn.net/Articles/544298/

The Author

Kurt Seifried is an Information Security Consultant specializing in Linux and networks since 1996. He often wonders how it is that technology works on a large scale but often fails on a small scale.

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