Review: Cloud storage

Storage on a budget: GlusterFS shines in open source storage test

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But beware of tradeoffs when it comes to documentation, management tools and failover

One alternative to buying expensive storage-area networks or other hardware-based dedicated storage is to deploy open source storage software on existing server hardware. For this test, we evaluated three such open source storage products, GlusterFS 3.3, Ceph 0.72 and Apache Hadoop 2.2.0.

All three did a good job, but as you might expect, there is a tradeoff when it comes to using open source storage. This is a DIY project: the documentation might not be as comprehensive as you might like, installation can be tricky, GUI-based management tools might not be available and if anything goes wrong, you’re pretty much on your own.

We liked GlusterFS for its hashing algorithm, which for the most part eliminates the bottleneck and single point of failure risk associated with products that use centralized management. However, GlusterFS, which is being developed by Red Hat, lacks GUI-based management tools.

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