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How to setup a NAS with GlusterFS Striped & Replicated + NFS on Ubuntu 14.04

Gluster is one of the most amazing storage technologies to hit the Open Source world in quite some time. Since it’s been acquired by Red Hat, it’s growth and adaptation has only been accelerated even more. Some refer to it as software defined storage. I agree with that, if you like to use industry lingo. Gluster allows you to create a pool of storage that can span multiple servers / nodes and grow over time. You can create volumes that mirror or replicate data across multiple servers or you can stripe a volume across multiple servers. You can even strip with redundancy, kind of like a RAID 5 but instead of disks, its servers. Very cool stuff.

Gluster has an NFS server built in. It actually works very well too. This makes it compatible with pretty much every hypervisor there is, such as VMware ESXi, Citrix XenServer, KVM, Proxmox, oVirt, and every other virtualization platform there is. I have yet to come across one that doesn’t support NFS. More so, every OS and server variation also supports NFS. This makes Gluster an excellent choice to build a storage infrastructure on. You can start small and grow it over time, or go all in. Either way, this guide will help you get started.

Today I’m working with four Ubuntu 14.04 LTS servers (virtual machines, actually). Each has a second virtual disk attached, 30GB in size, that will be dedicated to Gluster on each host. I’m going to set up a stripe, with redundancy, across these four nodes, which will be presented as a single NFS share available to a hypervisor for virtual machine storage, or a server for file storage. If you plan on following this guide exactly, go ahead and provision four Ubuntu 14.04 virtual machines with an extra 30GB drive attached to each. 1GB of RAM and 1 CPU will be more than sufficient. Lets get started.

Creating a GlusterFS volume striped + replicated across 4 nodes

FYI, look at the bash prompt label to see which server i’m working on. I.E. [email protected]:~$ is the gfsu1 node. If the bash prompt is a #, that means the instruction needs to be performed on all four nodes.

The four Ubuntu Gluster nodes i’m working with are named:

  • gfsu1 (GlusterFS-Ubuntu-1)
  • gfsu2
  • gfsu3
  • gfsu4

So, just keep an eye out for what node I’m working on based on the bash prompt label. First, make sure everything is updated and upgraded.

#  sudo apt-get update
#  sudo apt-get upgrade

Next, make sure software-properties-common is installed.

#  sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

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How to setup oVirt 3.4 virtualization on CentOS 6.6

oVirt, in my opinion, is the biggest contender with VMware vSphere. oVirt has the weight and development resources of Red Hat behind it, which has undoubtedly slingshotted it ahead of the rest of the open source virtualization solutions out there. It has almost all of the “out of the box” features vSphere has, and it works extremely well.

There have been two major holdback concerning oVirt in the past. First, early on it only supported Fedora. This definitely scared many people away, myself included. That is no longer the case as it now supports Fedora, RHEL, and CentOS. The second major drawback is the complexity of installation. Overall the methodology is pretty simple. At a minimum, you need two machines. An oVirt Engine, which is the brains of the operation and powers the web interface, and you have the oVirt Node, which is the “hypervisor.” Although the overall methodology is simple enough, it can really be a pain to install and get working. But, that’s improving as well.

I wrote this guide to help you get your oVirt infrastructure built on CentOS 6.6 easily, and quickly. You will need two servers, at minimum. The good news is that one of them, the oVirt Engine, can be virtualized, running on your currently configured hypervisor of choice. As far as specs, you’ll want to try to be close to the following.

oVirt Engine Minimum Server Specs (can be virtual or physical machine)

  • CentOS 6.6 x64
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 4GB Memory
  • 25 GB Hard Disk Space

oVirt Hypervisor Node (must be on physical machine)

  • oVirt Node 3.4 ISO installed as OS
  • 4 CPU Cores
  • 6GB Memory
  • 40GB Hard Disk (or iSCSI / NFS storage available)

This is enough to work with and get a good idea of what the oVirt platform is capable of. It’s also a solid foundation that can be grown and expanded on to form a production worthy infrastructure. So, lets get started.

How to build an oVirt infrastructure on CentOS 6.6

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