Open-Source SAN – Part 1: Introduction

The last month has seen very less blogging. This is due to several reasons like major changes in my private free time (but I don't want to bore you with that) and busy weeks at work (our mail server had a total system fail). But mainly it is because I'm working on a new project which takes all of my time and attention at the moment.

I'm evaluating the best working solution for an open-source Storage Area Network (SAN) that provides a small private cloud (or at least a cluster). As it took me hours of research, days of testing and numerous issues I was running into, I thought I should share my collected experience with you.

Maybe this could help you with your own decision and save you from wasting so much time as it was in my case. First of all I want to make clear that I'm not really going to compare different solutions with each other, but more cite what is available out there and might fit you best.

The main “problem” is that all of the mentioned products are very good software and have their own advantages for special use cases. So at last you have to make your own decision about what you exactly need and then find the solution that fits you best.

As this is also what I did, let me mention what were my requirements:

  • Linux-based
  • ZFS or at least snapshot functionality
  • iSCSI
  • Cluster / replication functionality, high availability or reliability (DRBD)
  • Web Interface or some other kind of GUI
  • S.M.A.R.T or other kind of monitoring and automatic notification system

Now the solutions I found:

If you have something to add here, I would appreciate if you could let me know via a comment to this post. I will discuss my personal requirements within every single appliance in more detail in the following blog posts.

next: Part 2: FreeNAS last: Part 4: Solaris-based Appliances

7 Gedanken zu „Open-Source SAN – Part 1: Introduction

  1. Pingback: Open-Source SAN – Part 2: FreeNAS | Christian Zartl, BSc

  2. Pingback: Open-Source SAN – Part 3: OpenFiler | Christian Zartl, BSc

  3. Pingback: Open-Source SAN – Part 4: Solaris-based Appliances | Christian Zartl, BSc

  4. Christian Zartl Artikelautor

    You are absolutely right, FreeNAS is not based on Linux, as I have also stated in the blog post for the product. I should have said "similar or comparable to Linux" instead of Linux-based.
    It was just an requirement for me so I don't have to learn a completely different OS first before I can really use an appliance and even if I have no experiences with FreeBSD besides what I have gained with FreeNAS, this was the case and I had no problems to work with it right from the start.


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