GlusterFS / Red Hat Storage Server

GlusterFS is a distributed file system that presents the memory resources of multiple servers as a single file system. Red Hat offers this technology along with his support as a product called "Red Hat Storage Server".

Whether you use the Red Hat product or the community variant, the functionality remains the same. GlusterFS can be thought of a bit like hard drives in a RAID array. Only the individual disks are servers which provide a portion of their capacity through network protocols. The data can be distributed just as redundant as in a RAID across multiple servers to ensure the reliability. The failover is done fully automatically. The connected clients do not notice anything. Not even an IP needs to be switched. Depending on the configuration, a load balancing can also be realized with GlusterFS. Or both at the same time: load balancing and high availability.

The trick here is that which each server that is addet in the GlusterFS, improves load balancing and / or increases fault tolerance. Despite all these advantages, the complexity of such a configurations is surprisingly well controlled. Again, this is important for the efficiency of such systems. Due to its decentralized approach GlusterFS is also made for the cloud deployment.

Benefits and features at a glance

  • Standalone Storage (similar to NFS)
  • Multiple servers that store and distribute the data among themselves and provide it to clients
  • Multiple servers that store the data mirrored and redundant and provide these to the clients
  • Multiple servers in which the data is striped to provide higher performance and disk IO bandwidth
  • Any scale by a lack of a bottleneck

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