A Long List of Distributed Filesystems

by @jehiah on 2008-06-09 14:42
Filed under: All, Programming, SysAdmin, filesystems

We have enough already, for crying out loud, what we don't need is another distributed filesystems. We need to consolidate and improve on what we do have.

Here is a list of distributed filesystems that I found while looking for one that fit my needs, and some quick notes on each. (Of course I haven't tried many of these, but please let me know if you have strong thoughts about any of them, or if you know of some glaring omissions from the list).

I'll also say that I'm not happy with any of these yet, they all still leave plenty to be desired. If you want to talk about these please catch me at the upcoming Google Scalability Conference 08.

  • Ceph

    POSIX compatible; supports data migration,re-replication when a host goes down

  • coda

    con: write on close; can't use for databases
    replaced by lustre ?

  • DRBD (Distributed Replicated Block Device)

    limited to 2 servers; It is not a filesystem, but the filesystem lives on top of drbd.
    used with heartbeat(http://www.linux-ha.org/) for failover

  • The GNU Cluster FileSystem (GlusterFS)

    also here
    no rebalancing or automated replication
    files are stored as whole files, not as distributed chunks there are problems with bringing an old file store online

  • Google File System (GFS)

    Clearly anyone can't just "use" this, but it deserves to be on the list because of it's design principles, and for comparison

  • gfarm

  • Hadoop file system

    desgin
    win32(not production ready, but soon),linux
    written in java 1.5.x
    not designed for low latency
    write once files
    no rebalancing [yet]
    no automatic handling of namenode failure

  • IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS)

  • KFS

    use client library (python,...) or fuse
    comparison with Hadoop File system
    sounds promising; check back in 6 months when it's a little more stable and full featured.

  • Lustre

    posix compliant; no single point of failure
    active-active failover pairs

  • memcachefs -

    Uses fuse, not persistent unless using memcachedb

  • MogileFS

    write once files, replication, flat namespace, not posix compliant

  • Oracle Cluster File System OCFS2

    GPL, not posix compliant, specifically designed for oracle database files

  • Parallel Virtual File System (PVFS)

    requires shared storage device for redundancy; no online adding/removing of servers

  • Peerfuse

    A new project. heavy development and doesn't have enough features yet to be used in a production environment.

  • Redhat Global File System -

    posix compliant, ok to use for databases

  • Tahoe

    about the design
    no hotspot detection via usage
    not designed for a single user, as there is a lot of overhead in maintaining information about who as access to what files; replication is not an automatic process.

  • ZFS

    not a distributed filesystem, but it has a lot of similar benefits of distributed storage devices, and it has a management interface that would be amazing for a distributed filesystem. Also see: luster

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