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Author Topic: Multipathing support  (Read 1785 times)

Bear

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Multipathing support
« on: June 25, 2004, 11:57:23 am »

I work for a large multinational which has declared it's suppot for Linux. My current job is to provide sanity
checks that mixtures of our hardware and third party hardware, play well with our storage (disk/tape) in a
Linux environment.

I know the focus here is on Linux as a platform to support a desktop, but I want to mention what we've done
recently as a pointer to what can be done with Linux.

Recently, I got an Intel based computer(*) to boot from a logical disk partition which resides on a disk farm
in another part of the building. The path between the computer and disk partition was multipathed, which is
to say that if the path in use goes down, the other path(s) are used without any operator intervention.

Why this is cool:

The "disk farm" is actually one large box about the size of a deli refrigerator, which holds several terabytes
of disk storage space, comprised of 72 GB, hot swappable drives.
The drives are dynamically allocated to logical disks, which can be any several types of RAID configuration.
All components - drives, power supplies, controllers, fans - are hot swappable, so that they can be replaced
without bringing the system down. With these features, any disk may fail without loss of data.

By separating the storage from the computer, a failed computer can be replaced quickly with little down time.

We will probably test something similar later with clustering added to the mix. When clustering is used, the
computer itself can fail without loss of data, and little to no loss of processing (depending how it's set up).

While this is a big compute center type of configuration, the beauty of Linux is that this sort of thing scales
down as well as scaling up.

 
If we ever need a robust system which absolutely must stay up, the technology is within reach. It's being
proven now.

Bear


*I'm avoiding brand names to keep this from being a commercial, and to not trip over any nondisclosure
agreements that might apply.
 
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ZooT_aLLures

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Multipathing support
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2004, 11:56:06 pm »

Bear,

I've got a tall stack of old HP netservers with hot swap arrays.
Too bad they use an EISA Mylex card that hasn't been cracked...........yet......
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Roy J. Tellason

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Multipathing support
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2004, 12:58:17 pm »

Quote
The "disk farm" is actually one large box about the size of a deli refrigerator, which holds several tera bytes of disk storage space, comprised of 72 GB, hot swappable drives. The drives are dynamically allocated to logical disks, which can be any several types of RAID configuration. All components - drives, power supplies, controllers, fans - are hot swappable, so that they can be replaced without bringing the system down. With these features, any disk may fail without loss of data.
 
Ooh!  I want one!

Can't wait for some of this stuff to hit the surplus market... :-)
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Bear

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Multipathing support
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2004, 10:36:36 pm »

Quote
Quote
(Bear @ Jun 25 2004, 12:57 PM)
The "disk farm" is actually one large box about the size of a deli refrigerator, which holds several tera bytes of disk storage space, comprised of 72 GB, hot swappable drives. The drives are dynamically allocated to logical disks, which can be any several types of RAID configuration. All components - drives, power supplies, controllers, fans - are hot swappable, so that they can be replaced without bringing the system down. With these features, any disk may fail without loss of data.

Ooh! I want one!

Can't wait for some of this stuff to hit the surplus market... :-)


Uh... not likely any time soon!  :o

Some bright biscuit did figure out that $800,000 might be a bit steep for some folks, so we're coming out
with an 'entry' level box.

Bear
 
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