Openfiler storage configuration

Posted on 2011-04-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a configuration question that is more advisory in nature than how-to.

I have an Openfiler box that will be used for archival (non-live production) storage for an application that runs independently on four servers.  Each server will have its own LUN to archive to.  I know how to create partitions, volumes, and LUNs.

Since Openfiler doesn't do thin provisioning, I have to estimate up front how much space each server will need for archiving.   However, It could turn out after putting the archive box in place that one server actually needs more space and another might need less, and I want to make resizing each server's space as painless as possible.  (It's a new system and we have no history for how much space each server will need.)

So my question is, should I make the free disk space one big partition and one big volume and split the space up at the LUN level, or the volume level,  or should I make each server's space separate from the partition level down?

My instincts are to do the former, throwing all the space (not including the OS) into a single partition and make that partition a single volume, which I then split up into four LUNs, one for each server.  Any advice?
Question by:CCBIL
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    >  one big volume and split the space up at the LUN level,
    Use LVM (Logic Volume Management) for each Linux server.
    Then you can painlessly resize the filesystem without reboot the system.

    Here is a beginner guide of LVM

    Basically, when you need more disk space, you can add more LUN to the server, and format it as PV and add to the existing volume group. Then extend the logic volume size painlessly (filesystem on top of logic volume just extend itself).
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    By the way, by useing LVM, it might be more flexible to use small LUN size.
    Say you have 2TB on Openfiler, then create 4 LUNs with size 200GB and assign to each server.
    When any server require more disk space, you can create a LUN with size 100GB or 200GB and assign to that server. That server just use LVM to combine the extra LUN to the existing volume group (format as PV and add into the volume group).

    Basically, LVM can cross the different physical disks/LUNs.
    LVL 1

    Author Closing Comment

    The original advice said to use one big volume and multiple LUNs, but in Openfiler it appears volumes and LUNs have a one-to-one relationship.  I created a single large volume group, then created volumes for each LUN in my plan, then mapped a LUN to each volume.  So in my case, not entirely accurate but it definitely put me on the right path toward solving my problem.  I appreciate the help very much!

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