NetApps (was Re: [OpenAFS] SAMBA as a CIFS <-> AFS gateway)

James Graves
Tue, 17 Apr 2001 22:53:10 -0500 (CDT)

I can certainly understand the desire to re-use the NetApp somehow.
They have a lot of great features for their niche (raw file serving),
and they are _very_ expensive.  But, using it over NFS as the underlying
storage for an AFS fileserver is just asking for trouble.

Instead, the disks could be moved to a regular computer.  If it's an
older NetApp (like in the 500 series) then the SCSI drives are fairly
standard.  Ditto for the FC-AL storage shelves on the 700 series.  I
haven't tried this, but you _should_ be able to just plug them in and
go.  You won't get the shelf management stuff (failed drive warning,
failed power supply waring, etc.), which is a bummer.

You could still use it as storage for something else.  The NetApp
website has some interesting papers on stuff like using a filer as
database storage.  This sounds crazy, but the RAID4 + WAFL often has
better throughput than an OS's own local disk.  This is because of the
missmatch between RAID5 and most OS's filesystems (ffs, ext2, etc.).

Good luck,

James Graves