GlusterFS – Open Source Distributed File System

GlusterFS is an open source, distributed file system capable of scaling to several petabytes and handling thousands of clients. It clusters together storage building blocks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect, aggregating disk and memory resources and managing data in a single global namespace. It is based on a stackable user space design and can deliver exceptional performance for diverse workloads.

Download GlusterFS 

GlusterFS supports standard clients running standard applications over any standard IP network.  No longer are users locked into costly, monolithic, legacy storage platforms. GlusterFS gives users the ability to deploy scale-out, virtualized storage scaling from terabytes to petabytes in a centrally managed and commoditized pool of storage.

Attributes of GlusterFS include:

  • Scalability and Performance
  • High Availability
  • Global Namespace
  • Elastic Hash Algorithm
  • Elastic Volume Manager
  • [advt]Gluster Console Manager
  • Standards-based

Design

GlusterFS has a client and server component. Servers are typically deployed as storage bricks, with each server running a glusterfsd daemon to export a local file system as a volume. The glusterfs client process, which connects to servers with a custom protocol over TCP/IP, InfiniBand or SDP, composes composite virtual volumes from multiple remote servers using stackable translators. By default, files are stored whole, but striping of files across multiple remote volumes is also supported. The final volume may then be mounted by the client host through the FUSE mechanism or accessed via libglusterfs client library without incurring FUSE filesystem overhead.

Most of the functionality of GlusterFS is implemented as translators, including:

  • File-based mirroring and replication
  • File-based striping
  • File-based load balancing
  • Volume failover
  • scheduling and disk caching

The GlusterFS server is kept minimally simple: it exports an existing file system as-is, leaving it up to client-side translators to structure the store. The clients themselves are stateless, do not communicate with each other, and are expected to have translator configurations consistent with each other. GlusterFS relies on an elastic hashing algorithm, rather than using either a centralized or distributed metadata model.

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