Cluster-wide management of replicated storage with LINSTOR

The new generation of LINBIT’s storage management system focuses on ease-of-use, resilience and scalability

Today’s IT installations often consist of many individual servers, each running some part of the software infrastructure that together form the kind of service that the installation is supposed to provide. Software processes rely on data, and high availability or disaster recovery solutions, which have typically included replication of the data to one or multiple other physically independent systems.

LINSTOR is the new generation of the software component that implements the automatic management of replicated storage resources in the LINBIT SDS system. Besides adding new features that users have been previously requested, such as the ability to make use of multiple-tier storage, LINBIT has also improved the existing features.

Linstor Linbit Opennebula openstack

Linstor features

Ease-of-use

Our experience has shown that administrators of complex IT environments typically struggle with two things: figuring out how to make the system do what they want, and determining the cause of the problem when a system fails to do what the administrators expect. Creating a new product has given us the opportunity to consider these issues during the design phase and to focus on making the new software easier to use and troubleshoot. Two examples of related enhancements are the more consistent and logical naming of LINSTOR objects and commands, and the greatly enhanced logging and problem reporting.

Resilience

Another area of improvement that we focused on is the resilience of the system as a whole, which depends not only on the LINSTOR software, but also on the entire external environment. For this reason, we designed LINSTOR to manage unexpected changes and to recover from many different types of failures of external components.

Scalability

LINSTOR greatly increases scalability by its ability to perform changes on multiple resources and on multiple nodes concurrently, while still remaining responsive to new requests.

Multi tier storage

Many users have requested the support of multiple-tier storage, and we are pleased to announce that, by adding the concept of storage pools, it has been implemented in LINSTOR. We made this a flexible feature, so that multiple storage pools can be configured, even using different storage backend drivers per storage pool and/or per node if necessary.

The new software is also capable of dealing with multiple network interface cards, each of which can be used as the replication link for DRBD resources or as the communication link for LINSTOR. This feature enables splitting the control network (providing LINSTOR communication) from the data network (providing DRBD replication link communication). IPv6 is  supported for both, LINSTOR communication and DRBD replication links.

RoadmapProduction release roadmap

The roadmap for the production release includes support for:

  • taking snapshots of replicated resources
  • thinly provisioned LVM storage
  • ZFS storage
  • encrypted and authenticated network communication within LINSTOR
  • taking advantage of LINSTOR’s multi-user-capability
Robert Altnoeder on Linkedin
Robert Altnoeder
Robert joined the LINBIT Team in 2013

LINBIT Introduces Container-Native Storage for Enterprise Applications

New Open-Source Software-Defined Storage Available for Kubernetes and OpenShift Environments.

“LINSTOR is designed to be container-native while consolidating storage and data management which saves time and money for IT departments,” said Brian Hellman, COO of LINBIT.

LINBIT, the de facto standard in open source High Availability (HA), Disaster Recovery (DR), Software-Defined Storage (SDS), and the force behind the renowned DRBD® open source software, today announced the public beta release of LINSTOR, a major new addition to its product portfolio. Serving the rapidly growing containerized applications market, LINSTOR fills a significant gap in the market by providing container-native block storage, a common data access model used by enterprise applications. LINSTOR can also provide data persistence for elastic applications, which dynamically create or remove containers depending on the load.

With LINSTOR, enterprise and database applications can benefit from container technologies while preserving data even when a container is eliminated; data centers can reduce cost and complexity when deploying scale-out cluster storage.

LINSTOR is part of LINBIT SDS, the industry’s fastest software defined storage solution for enterprise, cloud, and container environments. LINBIT SDS provisions, replicates, and manages data storage independent of hardware, thus enabling the use of commodity hardware and open source software, an important objective for many data centers. LINSTOR adds support for the popular Kubernetes and OpenShift environments.

LINBIT Introduces LINSTOR

“LINSTOR is designed to be container-native while consolidating storage and data management which saves time and money for IT departments,” said Brian Hellman, COO of LINBIT.

“Just as virtualization changed how storage must be configured and managed, container technologies demand a new approach,” said Brian Hellman, COO of LINBIT.

LINSTOR takes advantage of DRBD, a part of the Linux kernel for nearly a decade, to deliver fast and reliable data replication. By simplifying storage cluster configuration and ongoing management, then plugging into cloud and container front-ends, users get the resilient infrastructure they need while retaining flexibility to choose vendors. For example, using a pool of Linux storage, system administrators simply set the number of nodes, the number and size of storage volumes, and number of replicas, and LINSTOR identifies the servers with the proper space to build the environment.

“LINSTOR drastically simplifies storage provisioning and data replication without compromising speed and reliability,” said Philipp Reisner, CEO of LINBIT. “LINSTOR eliminates the long and complicated process of manually setting up cluster configuration files for each individual server.”

LINBIT will showcase its product portfolio with a special emphasis on container-native storage at the upcoming Red Hat Summit in San Francisco, California on May 8-10, 2018, Booth 432.

About LINBIT
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.