Raid Your Network File Shares

[Motoma] sent in his take on the virtual RAID 5 post. He didn’t like the layered system requirements, so he put together a proof of concept that only requires a Linux box. For his proof, he used a NFS share, a SMB share and did everything from the command line. He didn’t cover FTP, but the Gentoo wiki has a nice cheat sheet for mounting FTP and folders over SSH if you want some alternatives. He uses some very interesting partition tricks to make things happen. If you need some help to get things rolling, the Ubuntu forums software raid how-to is a good place to start.

6 thoughts on “Raid Your Network File Shares

  1. Hm, I think doing this in zfs might be a lot easier. You could skip the formatting and just run after creating the images:

    sudo zpool create mirror

    And you’re done! Though I wouldn’t use it for backups etc., as it’s still very beta.

  2. I did this the other day when i saw the raid-over-ftp going around.

    I used FUSE’s sshfs with compression (sshfs -C) as the filesystem. Using this, i was able to get 8-10MB/sec over a 802.11G wireless link.

    Most of the stuff about partitioning isn’t necessary as described in the howto. you can just use the raw file mapped to the loop device without any extra options. If you really wanted to put a partition on the raid, do so on the MD device, not on the individual files.

    A word of caution, loop devices will not be aware if the underlying file becomes unavailable. Loop will not tell the raid that a device has disappeared, so be prepared to have to resync often and possibly lose all of the data contained.

  3. I was hoping i wouldn’t need to place a file on the drive and raid that, but just an way to link individual shares together and keep the data on it. (does anyone know hopw to do this?)
    But this would give a nice twist on the gmailfs, linking lots of them together, maybe someone should write up an tutorial on it :P

  4. Meanwhilst failing freshman college, I spent a tremendous amount of time playing with linux and the new wonderful adventure of institutional ethernet internet (for which i blame my poor showing in grades!). Scrounging parts in dumpsters behind the physics dept. I put together a 3 cdrom RAID of 2x speed. I would write a three disk raid set and mount the disks as a RAID set for a whopping virtual 6x speed! WHEE! buckle your seatbelts! this was in 1997, so 2x cdroms were piss poor even for then… Of course i needed several old soundblaster cards to run the non-standard ide drives. One drive didnt always spinup properly, so i cut a hole in the top to put a finger in and help it along… Of course… NFS is a poor poor choice for a RAID disk file image as NFS is not always the most dandy for long term held open large files… but then again.. it is RAID… (presuming 5 or 10) and redundant… but who wants to reconstruct pairity over ethernet…?!?!? slow..

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