[OpenAFS] Large Data Storage

Horst Birthelmer horst@riback.net
Wed, 29 Mar 2006 13:32:20 +0200

On Mar 28, 2006, at 9:18 PM, John Falk wrote:
> I'm looking for a solution that would provide large amounts of data
> storage and would be able to grow exponentially. I am a network
> administrator for a school, like most schools right now budgets are
> tight and our data storage needs are growing. I am looking to make a
> giant raid5 out of retired machines. I was looking at the open-afs
> project to create a network data storage cloud.  As machines are  
> retired
> they would be added to the data storage cloud and all data would be
> split across several machines like raid5.  Is this or can this  
> easily be
> implemented using open-afs?

Short answer to a 'long' question ;-) "no".

AFS is a 'file system'. This means it _uses_ disks and it doesn't  
provide some.
You can build your 'data cloud' by an AFS cell, but that's one layer  
above that (what I think you had in mind).

AFS can provide a complete distributed filesystem, where clients and  
users aren't aware of the whole organization of data and servers behind.
It comes with a complete set of management tools for the file system,  
authentication (if you want some, but that's a little too old for  
some people) authorization and some backup functionality and some  
nice supplemental file system goodies.

It's not a networked RAID substitute nor a high availability data  
cluster, etc. (I seem to run out of examples of misinterpretations of  
a 'distributed filesystem' :-) )

I didn't want to scare you off, and I sincerely hope I haven't, I  
just tried to clarify things.


P.S.: There was another project providing networked software disc  
RAIDs, but I don't remember the name.