Datacenter

Tools for Storage Monitoring: iostat
The world of Linux storage tools for both monitoring and management just stinks. But that doesn't mean that there is absolutely nothing to help with monitoring. One such tool, iostat, can be used to watch what your storage devices are up to.
Kernels 2.6.35 and 2.6.36: Storage Updates
Two kernel releases have gone by since we last checked in with the check-ins. While the storage related changes are seemingly minimal, it's always good to review what changed; you might be surprised.
2010 Gift Guide for Storage Geeks
If that someone special in your life has storage on their mind come the holidays, we may be able to help with gift ideas. With ideas ranging from the very affordable (free) to very expensive (skipping a few mortgage payments), we've combed the world of storage procurement so you don't have to.
SuperComputing 2010: Faster, Denser Storage Technologies
The SuperComputing Conference is THE international conference and expo for all things HPC (High Performance Computing). The astute attendee of this year's conference could see that storage is a big part of this year's show. Two major storage trends from this year's conference: really fast storage and really dense storage.
Data Replication Using rsync
Having just discussed replication in Linux -- what it is, how it can be used and how it's not the same as a backup -- it's time to tackle a simple example of one of the replication tools: rsync. You will be surprised how easy it is to use rsync to replicate data to a second storage pool.
Saving Yourself with Data Replication
Data can be the currency, Intellectual Property, and life blood of many a company. One technique to make sure that your data is readily available is data replication. Not quite the same as data backup but can be equally important.
One Billion Dollars! Wait… I Mean One Billion Files!!!
The world is awash in data. This fact is putting more and more pressure on file systems to efficiently scale to handle increasingly large amounts of data. Recently, Ric Wheeler from Redhat experimented with putting 1 Billion files in a single file system to understand what problems/issues the Linux community might face in the future. Let's see what happened...
Bcache Testing: Large Files and a Wrap-Up
This month we have been testing a new kernel patch named bcache that takes SSDs and uses them as a cache for block devices (with the typical device being hard drives). This article wraps up the testing with an investigation of the throughput of large files and summarizes all the testing to date (and there's a lot of that).
Storage Monitoring via SystemTap
With storage becoming increasingly complex, being able to monitor what's happening with your servers has taken on a critical role. To truly understand what is happening with your storage you may need to monitor what is happening within the kernel.
Bcache Testing: Metadata
Our two prior articles have detailed the performance results from a new patch, bcache, that uses SSDs to cache hard drives. We've looked at the throughput and IOPS performance of bcache and -- while it is still very new and under heavy development -- have found that in some cases it can help performance. This article examines the metadata performance of bcache hoping to also find areas where it can further boost performance.
Bcache Testing: IOPS
Previously we looked at the throughput performance of bcache by running IOzone on a common SATA disk, an Intel X25-E SSD, and Bcache using the SSD to cache a single drive. This article explores the IOPS performance of the same configuration hoping to find areas where bcache might shine.
Bcache Testing: Throughput
Get your wetsuit on, we're going data diving. Throughput benchmarks using IOzone on a common SATA disk, an Intel X25-E SSD, and Bcache, using the SSD to cache a single drive.
Hard Drive Caching with SSDs
Caching is a concept used through computing. CPUs have several levels of cache; disk drives have cache; and the list goes on. Adding a small amount of high-speed data storage relative to a large amount of slower-speed storage can make huge improvements to performance. Enter two new kernel patches -- bcache and flashcache -- that leverage the power of SSDs.
Cool User File Systems: GlusterFS
One the coolest file systems in User Space has got to be GlusterFS. It has a very unique architecture that allows it to be configured for specific storage requirements and scenarios. It can be used as a high-performance parallel file system, or a cloud based file system, or even a simple NFS server. All of this in user-space. Could GlusterFS represent the future of file system development for Linux?
Cool User File Systems: ArchiveMount
Have you ever wanted to look inside a tar.gz file but without expanding it? Have you ever wanted to just dump files in a .tar.gz file without having to organize it and periodically tar and gzip this data? This article presents another REALLY useful user-space file system, archivemount. It allows you to mount archives such as .tar.gz files as a file system and interact with it using normal file/directory tools.
Cool User File Systems, Part 1: SSHFS
Userspace file systems are one of the coolest storage options in Linux. They allow really creative file systems to be developed without having to go through the kernel gauntlet. This article presents one of them, SSHFS, that allows you to remotely mount a file system using ssh (sftp).
Storage Management with an LVM GUI
Have you been looking for open-source storage management tools that are easy to use and provide a graphical representation of your storage. Alas, there are no comprehensive tools but there are graphical tools that you can pair with command-line wizardry, particularly LVM.
OCFS2: Unappreciated Linux File System
It's common knowledge that Linux has a fair number of file systems. Some of these are unappreciated and can be very useful outside their "comfort zone". OCFS2 is a clustered file system initially contributed by Oracle and can be a great back-end file system for general, shared storage needs.
User Space File Systems
Having file systems in the kernel has its pros and cons. Being able to write file systems in user-space also has some pros and cons, but FUSE (File System in Userspace) allows you to create some pretty amazing results. This article takes a very brief look at user-space file systems and FUSE.
Creating a NAS Box Using OpenFiler
In a recent walkthru we outlined the steps for taking an existing server and converting it into a NAS box. That article assumed that you already installed Linux on the server and you will maintain that installation (i.e. updates, security, etc.). This article takes examines an alternative: a dedicated NAS distribution called OpenFiler that allows you to very simply create a stand-alone NAS box that can be administered over the web.