My Novel Approach to Media Storage


Well, I really don’t have the energy to deal with all types of advanced file-systems/raid machanisms like ZFS etc.
I mean, ZFS is all nice, but I will not pay the Solaris x86/x64 tax just to get a more advanced software RAID. I’d rather stay with Linux as my home-server, thank you.

What I really need is a global view for my media drives (a couple of 1TB and a couple of 1.5TB drives at the moment) with the ability to expand this storage as I go.

I also need a more redundant volume for document, project backups, source control and what not, but that definitely doesn’t need to be very large.

My solution?:

  1. Distribute the data over the disks as you see fit
    Your choice of file-systems, mount options etc.
  2. Mount everything in some logical order, let’s say /data-1, /data-2 etc.
  3. Create a united share point: /data
  4. Unite it into a share view with aufs like so:
    mount -t aufs -o br=/data-2:/data-1 none /data
  5. Setup Samba/NFS to expose /data (perhaps as read-only) to the network
  6. Additionally, you can setup share-points for /data-1, /data-2 for direct meddling over the network.

The end result is that /data looks like it contains the merge of both /data-1 and /data-2.
Write operations go into /data-2 (read more about aufs to understand how to set it up properly).

I still need to setup a /data-raid or whatever to get the share for documents etc.
But at least, I can pull that one off pretty easy with a couple of SATA 2.5” el-cheapos and RAID-1.

One note for the cautious. While aufs worked perfectly for me on my Ubuntu 9.04, Samba would not expose it properly over the network for some reason.
Since I was two days away from the official Ubuntu 9.10 release, I just went ahead a did a do-release-upgrade –d and got my self of the Karmic Koala Express.

~ by damageboy on October 25, 2009.

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