[Lustre-discuss] Performance Expectations of Lustre

Nick Jennings nick at creativemotiondesign.com
Thu Jan 29 07:12:43 PST 2009

Hi Andreas,

Andreas Dilger wrote:
> On Jan 26, 2009  16:51 +0100, Nick Jennings wrote:
>>   The company where I work now has grown fast in the past year and we 
>> suddenly find ourselves in need of a lot of storage. For 5 years the 
>> company ran on a 60gig server, last year we got a 1TB RAID that is now 
>> almost full. In 1-2 years we could easily be using 10-15TB of storage.
> Nick,
> to be honest, I wouldn't necessarily recommend Lustre for a relatively
> small installation like this.  The main benefit of using Lustre is
> that it scales the IO bandwidth very well with additional OSS nodes,
> but more nodes (and more complexity) also add more points of failure.
> If you don't need more bandwidth and/or size than can be easily served
> from a single node then you can use something like NFS with a single
> ext3 16TB filesystem today.
> You didn't mention the number of web servers that will be accessing the
> filesystem, and of course lots of clients can bring an NFS server to
> its knees, so that is definitely also something to consider.

  Thanks for your input. I am starting to re-think my strategy here, 
though I've got to make a decision sometime very soon. I've considered 
GFS to manage the file locking, but am not sure I want to commit to it. 
There's also ZFS (Sun) & OCFS (Oracle) which I've only just started 
reading about. (NOTE: If anyone has any input on these file systems I'd 
be interested to hear it).

  NFS would be the simplest migration method, but offers the least 
amount of scalability. We are currently close to maxing out the 
resources of our single server (it's our web server, database server, 
mail server and DNS server), so we will most likely be scaling our 
infrastructure to 3-4 nodes over the course of the year, all of which 
will need access to the NFS server (but perhaps only 2-3 really hitting 
it hard), I think even with 2-3 web-nodes hitting the NFS server, I'm 
going to be sorry I switched to NFS before next Christmas :)

  There's also MogileFS which Daniel Leaberry pointed me too (thanks for 
the tip!) and I've been reading about it as well, but it's likely going 
to be a fair amount of work to re-write a bunch of our legacy code 
(written by a developer who is no longer with the company) to access 
files via. the Mogile API. Not entirely impossible, just not my idea of 
a good time!

  So after giving it some thought I think Lustre might require too much 
of an initial investment, while being a bit overkill for the task at 
hand. It's too bad as I was looking forward to the idea.


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