Some time ago I had to find a file system that supports really large files (TB/PB).
- File systems with built in fault tolerance
- Shared disk file systems
- Distributed file systems
- Distributed fault tolerant file systems
- Distributed parallel file systems
- Distributed parallel fault tolerant file systems
- Fault tolerant file systems
Comparison of file systems
Network attached storage (NAS), in contrast to SAN, uses file-based protocols such as NFS or SMB/CIFS where it is clear that the storage is remote, and computers request a portion of an abstract file rather than a disk block.
NFS - Network File System (protocol)
NFS is the "Network File System" for Unix and Linux operating systems. It allows files to be shared transparently between servers, desktops, laptops etc. It is a client/server application that allows a user to view, store and update files on a remote computer as though they were on their own computer. Using NFS, the user or a system administrator can mount all or a portion of a file system.
XFS is a high-performance journaling file system created by Silicon Graphics, originally for their IRIX operating system and later ported to Linux kernel. XFS is particularly proficient at handling large files and at offering smooth data transfers.
The CXFS file system (Clustered XFS) is a proprietary distributed networked file system designed by Silicon Graphics (SGI) specifically to be used in a Storage area network (SAN) environment.
A significant difference between CXFS and other distributed file systems is that data and metadata are managed separately from each other. CXFS provides direct access to data via the SAN for all hosts which will act as clients. This means that a client is able to access file data via the fiber connection to the SAN, rather than over an Ethernet network (as is the case in most other distributed file systems, like NFS). File metadata however, is managed via a metadata broker. The metadata communication is performed via TCP/IP and Ethernet.
Another difference is that file locks are managed by the metadata broker, rather than the individual host clients. This results in the elimination of a number of problems which typically plague distributed file systems.
Though CXFS supports having a heterogeneous environment (including Solaris, Linux, Mac OS X, AIX and Windows), either SGI's IRIX Operating System or Linux is required to be installed on the host which acts as the metadata broker.