Openfiler Simplifies Linux NAS, SAN

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-09-20 Print this article Print

Openfiler, an appliance Linux, can turn any x86 box into an iSCSI NAS or SAN controller. (Linux-Watch)

We tend to think of Linux as a general-purpose operating system, but it also makes a great foundation for special-purpose software appliances. One of the more interesting releases, in this regard, is the storage management operating system, Openfiler. Xinit Systems Openfiler is designed from the bottom up as both a file-based NAS (network-attached storage) and block-based SAN (storage area network) system manager.
To connect these together, Openfiler is designed for use with iSCSI (Internet SCSI) devices.
Click here to read about a low-cost Linux-based NAS gateway from Coraid. Basically, iSCSI involves the use of standard SCSI drive commands over a TCP/IP connection. Typically, this means that the SCSI initiator (typically, a server) accesses remote drives as block devices over Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet. From a users viewpoint, it appears that these remote drives are co-located with the server. This, in turn, gives businesses relatively inexpensive access to terabytes of storage without the expense of Fibre Channel SANs. Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Openfiler Simplifies Linux NAS and SAN Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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