LINBIT Supports High Availability for Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services Users

Proven Open-Source High Availability For Leading Cloud Platforms

Beaverton, OR, August 14, 2018 – LINBIT, the pioneer in open source High Availability (HA), Disaster Recovery (DR) and Software-Defined Storage (SDS), today announced the general availability of LINBIT HA software on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Cloud 2 (EC2). Protecting block data and creating always-on applications in the cloud is a growing need, but it is not automatic and requires software infrastructure tools such as those provided by LINBIT. The public cloud services market is projected to grow 21.4 percent in 2018 and LINBIT HA fills a critical need in the cloud market by supporting cloud user’s storage availability requirements without installing proprietary software.


Typical HA offerings from cloud providers generally only recover from failures at the virtual machine level. LINBIT HA goes beyond that to  recover applications from any failure that impacts application execution, including application level failures. itself. This makes LINBIT’s open-source software compelling for both cloud providers and cloud end-users.


“Microsoft has worked closely with LINBIT and is excited that it has expanded its technology to support High Availability needs for Azure Linux customers,” said Hosung Song, Senior Software Engineer, working in Azure Compute, Open Source Software Workloads Innovation Team.
“LINBIT software supports always-on applications and always-on data in OS-native and VM-native, and now Cloud-native environments,” said Brian Hellman, COO of LINBIT. “We are excited to support high availability for end-users of both Azure and EC2.”


LINBIT has created a new tech guide and video which demonstrate how to cluster any Linux distribution in Azure using the LINBIT DRBD software, which has been a part of the Linux kernel for almost a decade. With a few simple clicks, users can create and configure an HA NFS cluster using Microsoft’s quickstart template.


“Digital transformation means the kind of availability and scalability that can keep up with increasing storage demands,” said Phillip Reisner, CEO of LINBIT. “With more than 1.7 million downloads of the DRBD software, LINBIT is proud to deliver robust open source solutions that are imperative to keeping the digital world running.”



LINBIT is the force behind DRBD and the de facto open standard for High Availability (HA) software for enterprise and cloud computing. The LINBIT DRBD software is deployed in millions of mission-critical environments worldwide to provide High Availability (HA), Geo Clustering for Disaster Recovery (DR), and Software Defined Storage (SDS) for OpenStack and OpenNebula based clouds.

Control and Data plane Linstor

The advantage of separate control and data planes

Many storage systems have a monolithic design that combines the control plane and the data plane into a single application and a single protocol, but LINBIT’s more modular solution comes with a number of advantages.

What is a control plane or a data plane?

The most important task that any storage system must perform is providing access to the storage volumes that are used for various workloads, for example, databases, file servers or virtualization environments. This is what we refer to as the data plane – all the components that are necessary to actually get data from the storage to the user and from the user to the storage.

Another task is the management of the configuration of storage volumes, which is what we refer to as the control plane . With the rise of more dynamic systems like containerization, virtualization and cloud environments, and the associated software defined storage systems, where storage volumes are frequently reconfigured, this task is becoming increasingly important.

Data and Control plane Linstor

Why it is important: Availability

If you need to shut down part of your infrastructure, because you are updating hardware, for instance it is important when the most fundamental services remain available. Storage is probably one of those fundamental and important services, since most of the other systems rely on it.

A storage system with a modular design that provides independent control and data planes brings your infrastructure one step closer to high availability.

Independent control and data plane

Many storage systems can only provide access to storage volumes if all of their subsystems are online. The design may even be completely monolithic, so that the management functions and the storage access functions are contained within a single application that uses a single network protocol.

In LINBIT’s DRBD-based storage systems, only the most fundamental control plane functions are tightly coupled with the data plane and the operation of storage volumes. High-level control functions, like managing storage volumes and their configuration, managing cluster nodes, or providing automatic selection of cluster nodes for the creation of storage volumes, are provided by the LINSTOR storage management software. These two components, DRBD and LINSTOR, are fundamentally independent of each other.

DRBD storage volumes, even those that are managed by LINSTOR, are kept accessible even if the LINSTOR software is unavailable. This means that the LINSTOR software can be shut down, restarted or upgraded while users retain their access to existing storage volumes. While it is less useful, the same is even true the other way around: a LINSTOR controller that does not rely on storage provided by DRBD and will continue to service storage management requests even if the storage system itself is unavailable. The changed configuration will simply be applied whenever the actual storage system is online again.

Robert Altnoeder on Linkedin
Robert Altnoeder
Robert joined the LINBIT development team in 2013. He had worked with
DRBD at a startup company in the SaaS field before joining LINBIT. His
current primary field of work is the architecture and implementation of
LINSTOR, the cluster management component of LINBIT's SDS software.