Sharing local storage via Fiber Channel on Linux

vinod
vinod used Ask the Experts™
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I have two Linux boxes, each having 10 TB local disk storage. Both access a 24 TB Fiber Channel disk array via QLogic 2460 HBAs and a QLogic 5600 FC switch, works very well. The Linux boxes share each others local storage via NFS, which also works but it is less than optimal. Can they share their 10 TB local storage via FC?
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FC is for sharing "block" storage such as a LUN on an array,  not files.

It is possible to share a block device over FC using Linux, but usually that storage would no longer be available to the host.

Some more information about your specific use case would be useful
vinodDirector of Computing

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Commented:
OK, and how can the local disks in one Linux box be presented as block devices to other Linux boxes? All Linux boxes are connected to FC fabric. In other words, how can I convert my Linux box, currently an NFS server, into a simple disk array?
FC target for Linux http://scst.sourceforge.net/

I'd be tempted to look at freenas, openfiler, nexenta and open-e as well, not all support FC target, but it might give you some more ideas :-)

freenas and nexanta use ZFS

ZFS can give you snaphots and dedupe, and can have a huge performance boost if you add a couple of SSDs

Its been a while since I've used any of them in anger, but I've started the planning for an 8x4Tb video server and I'll probably go with freenas8 using iSCSI as it will have sufficient performance for that particular application.
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Do any of those softwares listed provide FC targets? SanSynphony does but it runs on Windows and is the only soft FC target I can remember. iSCSI target software abounds but isn't in the question.
@vinod - Just being pedantic, the F in FC is spelt Fibre
@andyalder the first one I linked to can do FC-AL target, open-e can also do FC-AL target
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
SCST looks like rather much of a build it yourself option, Open-E may run under Linux but it's an appliance, not something that can be installed on a current Linux box.

I can't see why the asker doesn't just remove some of the disk space allocated to the current hosts and assign it to the others on their SAN storage rather than bothering about trying to rerestribute it with their current SAN attached hosts. I think though that they probably want shared access such as NFS rather than dedicated block level access.
The original question was "Can they share their 10 TB local storage via FC?"

I would say yes, and the instructions are not that complicated...

http://scst.sourceforge.net/qla2x00t-howto.html

Granted if you hadn't done something like it before, it could be a little daunting, but aren't most things ?
vinodDirector of Computing

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Commented:
Unfortunately, we do not have the option of patching the kernel. Looks like FC target under Linux is not for prime time yet.
The answer to the question, I would say is yes, whether you would want to do it is a different question :-)

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