openfiler

Openfiler is an operating system that provides file-based network-attached storage and block-based storage area network. [read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Openfiler]

  • NAS are very popular these days; for people who can not afford a professional NAS or a sub 1000€ system, the idea of recycling an old pc come quickly to mind. What is a little bit more difficult is to find the right hardware and software combination.
    I higly recommend Promise SATA raid controller for their Linux native support, while for software I came across OpenFiler; an open source project which has professional functionnalities...

    Openfiler is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework. Openfiler sits atop of CentOS Linux (which is derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor). It is distributed as a stand-alone Linux distribution.

    The entire software stack interfaces with third-party software that is all open source. File-based networking protocols supported by Openfiler include: NFS, SMB/CIFS, HTTP/WebDAV and FTP. Network directories supported by Openfiler include NIS, LDAP (with support for SMB/CIFS encrypted passwords), Active Directory (in native and mixed modes) and Hesiod. Authentication protocols include Kerberos 5. Openfiler includes support for volume-based partitioning, iSCSI (initiator), scheduled snapshots, resource quota, and a single unified interface for share management which makes allocating shares for various network file-system protocols a breeze.

    Note that I am currently thinking on buying a ReadyNAS NVbecuse of its size
  • RAID @ home raid5Presentation

    Openfiler
    is a powerful, intuitive browser-based network storage software distribution. Openfiler delivers file-based Network Attached Storage and block-based Storage Area Networking in a single framework.

    Openfiler sits atop of CentOS Linux (which is derived from sources freely provided to the public by a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor). It is distributed as a stand-alone Linux distribution. The entire software stack interfaces with third-party software that is all open source.

    Status: stable, in development
    # Developers: __


    homepage www.openfiler.com
     version 1.1.1 stable (2005)
    2.0beta (2006)
    Based on CentOS Linux
    Support
    • NFS,
    • SMB/CIFS,
    • HTTP/WebDAV
    • FTP
    • more
    Network directories support
    • NIS, LDAP (with support for SMB/CIFS encrypted passwords)
    • Active Directory
    • Hesiod
    • Kerberos 5.
    • more
    Software Raid 0,1,5,6
    Hardware Raid yes if supported by CentOS
    Interface Web interface, PHP scripts
    Size 4GB
    Can be installed On hard disk only because of its size
    File system UFS, FAT32, EXT2/EXT3, NTFS (limited read-only)
    HardDrive ATA/SATA, SCSI, USB and Firewire
    Network All supported by CentOS (including wireless card!)

    RAID @ home raid5  Installation

    Is straightforward, You only have to follow the flow on screen. But here is a small HowTo:

    RAID @ home raid5  HowTo: software RAID 5 install

    What I want: software RAID 5, 4 disk of 320GB (real 305GB), using NVIDIA SATA chipset (not a dedicated RAID5 board).

    Note: these pictures are not screenshots but picture taken with a sony camera...
    http://www.openfiler.com/download
    Download iso image from sourceforge and burn it to a CD Insert CD, and boot the PC
    The first step is to TEST the quality of the medium. Openfiler did not recognize the NVIDIA controller.
    choose "Add device"
    NVIDIA drivers (both Ethernet and drive controller) are at the end of the list.
    I've add both drivers manually. Then "Done" The welcome page. click "Next"
    Choose Keyboard language. I am not a novice, so let's look at the advanced configuration.
    The 4 disks are recognized. First I add some space for the Operating System. If You do not want to have a fifth disk just for the operating system, You'll have to reserve a small amount of the global space for the Openfiler system. Note: this space will be located on the first disk and wont be in the raid array...so no redundancy.
    Anyway it is uncommon to install the RAID engine on the RAID array itself.
    Lets have 2GB for System.
    And  1 GB for SWAP Then I click on th button RAID, since I have no RAID predefined only the first choice is available: "Create a RAID partition"
    I will have to create a RAID partition for each of the 4 drives, I reserved 300GB for disk SDB 300GB for disk SDC, for Disk SDA
    and for disk SDD...till all 4 disks contains a RAID partition. I click on the RAID button for the 5th times: and choose "create a RAID device"
    My disk array will be named /RAID (mount point), Raid level 5 Result, a /RAID (device /dev/md0) with an EXT3 file system.
    Nothing particular, default values are good Language support: English
    Choose TimeZone Enter a good Root password. Mine s too small but it is only a prototype for determining performances and reliability of the setup.
    Confirm all values entered by clicking Next wait till the raid array initialization

    CD get ejected, and reboot. Point your browser to https://box_ip:446/
    And administer remotely the box

    If all my explanations are not clear enough, or You want more details, visit the official installation page

    RAID @ home raid5  HowTo: hardware RAID 5 install

    in progress...

    RAID @ home raid5  Administration

    Check Openfiler Administration guide
    point your browser to https://box_ip:446/

    RAID @ home raid5  Problems encountered

    OpenFiler 1.1
    2.0beta1
    2.0beta2
    • The SATA controller was not recognized, this force me to use the 2.0Beta.
    • Unable to read or mount manually 2 different USB keys (FAT32), also unable to read CDROM (closed ISO and CDRW)
    • The network card (NFORCE 4 ) was not recognized by Openfiler 2.0Beta, I fail to copy the NVIDIA driver on the box because of point 2.
    • Is working perfectly, did not ask for any supplemental drivers

    RAID @ home raid5  Web Interface GUI

    Screenshots

    RAID @ home raid5  Performances Tests

    in progress


    RAID @ home raid5  Conclusions

    Why choosing it Why avoiding it
    Enterprise NAS features out of the box You do not need enterprise NAS features
    Very nice WEB GUI 4GB is too much and need an additional small disk only for starting the OS
    A lot of functionalities
    Limited choice of file system:
    • no Reiserfs, the swiss knife of all filesystem.
    • no JFS, XFS more adapted for big files
    A big communities of users and developers, good online documentation.
    No AMD64 version, but it's really not an issue.
    Very easy to have a software RAID5 arrays setup working.
    Stable, Linux 2.6.9 kernel base.
    GPL but an Enterprise version (with support) is also available.