HOWTO: Create a Fail-Over SAN Cluster With Thin Provisioning, Dedup, and/or Compression

Ever wondered how to roll your own fail-over SAN cluster with off-the-shelf open source software? I found this handy HOWTO from El Di Pablo who blogs at Bauer-Power.net. What motivated him to do this?

I was getting discouraged with setting up a redundant failover SAN cluster because I found that DRBD was just too flaky in the setup I wanted. The problem though was that almost all home-grown cluster solution tutorials on the web use DRBD with either Heartbeat or Corosync. It is almost impossible to find a different, or even better solution… Until now of course.

So since DRBD doesn’t work… I decided to look elsewhere. Enter GlusterFS!

I like it way better than DRBD because it doesn’t require meta-data to sync before it will work. It just works! In fact, once it is setup it writes like a true RAID 1. If you put a file in your sync’d directory it will automagically show up on the other node in the cluster in real time!

Ok, so I figured out how to make clustering work with GlusterFS and Heartbeat. What’s this about deduplication and thin provisioning? Yes! I got that working as well. In fact, not only can we do deduplication, we can do compression if we want. How? It’s all thanks to the miracle that is ZFS!

So there you have it – read the full HOWTO to see how he stretches GlusterFS over ZFS for a full-featured fail-over SAN. This is exactly the type of ingenuity and innovation made possible by open source software.

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