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Mounting /home/ to central networked storage

Discussion in 'Data Protection' started by Synergy8, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Synergy8

    Synergy8 Member

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    Hello,

    I currently have 2 cPanel web servers that are little 1RU dual cpu quad core xeons. They have a lot of resources for processing and handling web requests, and never exceed more than 10% cpu usage. They also have plenty of RAM.

    The problem is though that they both have RAID 1 160Gb SAS hard disk drives in them that are 75% full, and growing by the day. I didnt think that the amount of disk usage would be so high, but due to the nature of the sites hosted, this has become an issue.

    The easy fix would be just to upgrade the hard drives to something bigger (probably not of the SAS variety), but I am thinking of keeping the current machines as "processing servers" and buying a central "storage server" with about 12TB of storage. The /home/ partition on each of the 1RU servers would be mounted to a NAS or SAN point on this central storage server.

    My questions are:
    - Has anyone got a cPanel setup where they mount /home/ to a NAS or SAN elsewhere? If so, can you provide details as to what you did and how it went :)
    - Any recommendations on networking? Is gigabit ethernet enough? Is TCP/IP going to result in a noticable performance problem?
    - Anyone benchmarked or had any performance issues with SAN over NAS?
    - How does the performance compare with just using a local disk?
    - Does it scale?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Scott
     
  2. Synergy8

    Synergy8 Member

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    Bump - anyone?
     
  3. Spiral

    Spiral BANNED

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    I can actually fix that very easily ;)

    (IE: Have the sites use substantially less disk space with no impact to site data, scripts, or operation really whatsoever)

    Bad, bad idea --- thinking in terms of a backup solution ---- fine

    However, thinking in terms of setting up hosting access across NAS, you would have to be fairly self-abusive on yourself and take great sadistic pleasure in making your life miserable. :rolleyes:

    I could probably stay up the entire night covering the potential problems with that and after all that still would not adequately cover that enough.

    Yes, I've setup hundreds of such links and they are mainly used for backup storage in most cases. For production hosting and with cpanel --- you are quite insane.

    Network -> Enough? Hell no! Also your bandwidth needs increase and performance worsens with the more hosting accounts and traffic you got on your sites and become even more sensitive to network instabilities!

    TCP/IP -> Most definitely will indeed notice "performance" issues

    Compare? Performance sucks greatly! The performance is MUCH SLOWER unless you are using a direct internal network on separate to a solid state storage but then you are talking about an enormous massive cost overhead for those and less reliability that really would not be justified economically against simply buying more servers or larger hard drives to put into your server --- both of which being far more ideal.

    For normal SAN / NAS, the performance is drastically slower access times than that of a direct hard drive and is complicated by network conditions as well on top of that.

    For backing up where you are mostly writing data outside the view of live visitors, it's a great solution and the performance differences are of little impact for that application and also gets the data away from the physical server so for that application it is ideally suited.

    However, for hosting live production hosting accounts that have to pull data back in real time to deliver to outside sources ---- no, no, no ---- baaaad! ;)
     
  4. canfone

    canfone Active Member

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    GlusterFS

    We have worked with a client recently that required a central storage server (NAS) to be shared across multiple servers, including cPanel servers.

    We used the fuse filesystem module to mount GlusterFS to a /home2 parition on the server. New cpanel accounts or accounts requiring large amounts of diskspace could then be setup on the network mount (/home2/).

    More about GlusterFS here: Gluster.org Community Website | GlusterFS is a cluster file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes.

    The key thing is file permissions - the UIDs and GIDs of the users need to be synched if you are having multiple computers connect to the Share to allow for proper permissions. If you just have one server connecting it would be straight-forward.

    The performance of GlusterFS is fairly good (much better than NFS) and the software is open source and can be installed on commodoity hardware / RAID-array.

    With large SATA drives coming down in price these days though, it just makes a lot of sense to setup on-board storage (if you have room) or use an iSCSI mount if you do not need the cluster/shared file system access capabilities of GlusterFS>
     
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