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Xsan SMB Shares

Posted on 2005-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
First the setup. We recently deployed an 8TB Xsan solution for our creative departments storage. We have deployed Three Xserv G5's Acting as primary, secondary & tertiary metadata controllers. The Storage consists of two Xraids each being 4.4TB a piece. The Xsan is setup on its own private subnet for metadata communication as suggested by Apple, with fiber.

Our client machines are all Dual 1.8Ghz G5's with 3GB's of RAM or higher, all running OS X 10.3.8. The user network is a mix of 10/100 & Gigabit, full Gigabit in two months.

We have created one large share for the creative team (8TB) for storage of all client work, which is upwards of 3.9TB at the moment. I wrote a small Apple script that runs at startup on the user's machine to automatically mount the shared "SAN" volume, which works well. Originally I was using AFP to mount the volumes. In some of the larger Archive sub folders there are sub folders containing upwards of 6500 sub folders or more. When using AFP & Finder it would take upwards of 60 seconds for these directories to be listed. Our Windows machines can connect and list the directory in under 3 seconds. Also if I open the terminal on a mac and do a ls command in those directories I get the same 3 seconds that I get in windows. My guess on that is the fact that the Mac is rendering icons and creating a directory cache. After the first visit to the directory by the users, upon return display of the directory is almost instant.

I found that switching to SMB cut down the waiting time to 20 to 30 seconds on the mac, which is great. The only problem that I am having now is SMB not recognizing the full size of the 8TB SAN share. When I mount the SMB share I have full read/write access but it tells me that there is zero space avaliable. So I can move files around but lack the ability to copy new data to the San. The San disk is mounted on the primary metadata controller and shared out from there, and this is where I think my problem could lie, although windows can see everything just fine. Maybe the version of SMB on the mac doesnt support something that the PC's do?

If I create a share on the primary metadata controllers local RAID disk and share it out, I can view the full size of the disk and copy over whatever I want.

Any ideas, or suggestions to get the macs to fully use SMB would be extremely appreciated. I hope I covered everything necessary, if I didnt let me know, I will be keeping tabs on this post all day as I would love to get this Xsan fully up and functional for all users.
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Question by:AgentOrang3
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by:AgentOrang3
ID: 13519827
Everyone else just as stumped as I am?
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by:AgentOrang3
ID: 13578387
Well I finally found the answer. After about 3 days working with Apple they found that the Samba implementation in Panther has a 4TB share limit. Anything over 4TB's will not be recognized, which is what I was running into. I have asked that they post this somewhere on their website, althought I doubt they will. Let's hope they fix this in Tiger, otherwise were stuck with AFP which is slow but at least it can read 16TB shares.
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