NFS or Samba fileshare to store large number of files from Windows server ?

Hi All,

Can anyone here suggest, which type of LUN or file share is better to store a large number of files (~2-3 million) of recorded voice & scanned documents in iSCSI NAS?

I'm considering between NFS share or Samba since the application server is running Windows, then I will use Robocopy to migrate files into the file share for 5 years archival.

Thanks in advance.
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Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAsked:
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ChrisSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
A LUN is not something you could share at the OS layer. A LUN is essentially (Very generic here) a disk, which can be assigned to a machine through your SAN management utility.

Can you expand on your infrastructure a bit here.. You're mixing several different terms here relating to different OS's and different storage protocols..

Is the data on Linux, or is it on Windows? or are you just assigning a LUN to a machine?
If your assigning a LUN to a Windows machine, then you're just adding another disk, just format it NTFS, and boom goes the dynamite.

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Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hi Chris,

I need some storage location so that I can migrate off millions of smallish (1-2 MB each) files to this location, the size at the moment is about 1.7 TB yearly that I need to migrate off from the VM.

What's the better way to do it especially when I'm doing the Robocopy script.

I'm wondering between iSCSI LUN and NFS shared folder.
ChrisSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
Really they are going to operate almost identically.

NFS is really nothing more then a sharing protocol. Much the same way and Windows File Shares, only on Linux/Unix. (Windows even has the capability to create NFS shares too, through the installation of a Role.)
Add NFS as Role
iSCSI is an IP based networking standard commonly used to attach storage to, and facilitate data transfer.
The protocol allows clients (initiators) to send SCSI commands to storage (targets)

Data is transferred block-level with iSCSI, and file-level with NFS, but really the limiting factor with both will be the speed of the network connections.

So to answer you question, between those two options, there isn't really a better way, assuming the network speed is the same on both. Now if you've segregated your iSCSI traffic on to a different network (say, 10gb or 40gb) network, then create a LUN, and map it to the host.. Data access would be way faster..
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Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Ok so if the LUN is on NFS share I cannot use Robocopy to retain the file permission ?

But it is simpler to create.
ChrisSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
A LUN cannot reside on an NFS Share.

Think of these constructs:
- A LUN is a Disk
- an NFS Share is essentially a folder

Do you have  QNAP NAS? - This video walks through creating an iSCSI target on the QNAP, and connecting an initiator to it.
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Yes I have QNAP NAS, but somehow I got confused with all of the various type of iSCSI LUN, image based LUN, Storage Pool, RAID group and NFS/CIFS share.

Is there any diagram or picture for that ?
ChrisSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:

So in this case, which one is faster in terms of throughput for transferring large file ?

NFS or iSCSI given the same gigabit ethernet.
ChrisSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
I would go the iSCSI LUN mapped directly to the Windows Application server.

In terms of performance, block level SCSI operations have less overhead, and are specifically designed for performance disk read/write operations.
Senior IT System EngineerSenior Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks !
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