GlusterFS OpenSource Distributed File System

GlusterFS is a distributed file system that can manage disk storage resources from multiple servers into a single global namespace. It is a type of distributed replicated network file-system, fully POSIX compliant and supports storage paradigms such as Block Storage and Object Storage.

GlusterFS stores the data on stable Linux file-systems like ext4, xfs etc. So it doesn’t need an additional metadata server for keeping metadata.

It is possible to build 3 types of volumes: distributed, replicated and striped. I strongly recommend reading GlusterFS architecture documentation from that link. GlusterFS has a well-documented architecture.

Some Advantages from GlusterFS architecture documentation:

  • Can use any on disk filesystem that supports extended attributes
  • Accessible using industry-standard protocols like NFS and SMB
  • Provides replication, quotas, geo-replication, snapshots and bitRot detection
  • Open Source

I added some basic terms that we will use throughout this post. Also recommended to check this link for much more detail.

Distributed File System — A file system that allows multiple clients to access data which is spread across cluster peer. The servers allow the client to share and store data just like they are working on locally.

Cluster — a group of peer computer that works together.

Trusted Storage Pool — A storage pool is a trusted network of storage servers.

Fuse — File system in Userspace (FUSE) is a loadable kernel module that lets non-privileged users create files without editing kernel codes. FUSE module only provides a bridge to access to actual kernel interface.

Glusterd — The GlusterFS daemon/service process that needs to be run all members of the trusted storage pool to manage volumes and cluster membership.

Brick — the basic unit of storage in GlusterFS. Represented by an export directory on a server in a trusted storage pool.

Volume — logical collection of bricks.

If you are excited to setup GlusterFS file system and check its’ features, please have a look for more detail about how to install and configure GlusterFS”.

The requirement to install and test GlusterFS:

Configure and Install Binaries

DNS configuration

You should define “hostname” and “ip” information to DNS server or hosts files. I will prefer to add information to “/etc/hosts” file.

#vi /etc/hosts dockert01 dockert02 dockert03 client

Define GlusterFS repository on both client and storage server

Define GlusterFS repositories for all servers in a trusted pool and also for the client. I added the Centos base repository for GlusterFS. You should check GlusterFS repository which belongs to your Linux distribution.

# cat /etc/yum.repos.d/glusterfs.repo 
name=Gluster 5

c) Install Glusterfs-Server on Storage Nodes

#yum install -y glusterfs-server

#systemctl start glusterd

#systemctl enable glusterd

Configure firewall rules

I always prefer to disable firewalld daemon on my test platform. But if you have any obligation to enable firewalld , you may define firewall rules for all Server and clients.

Disable firewallD:

#systemctl stop firewalld
#systemctl disable firewalld
#firewall-cmd –reload

Or define rules:

#firewall-cmd  --permanent --zone=public --add-rich-rule='rule family="ipv4" source address="<ipaddress>" accept'
#firewall-cmd –reload


Create local file system on storage nodes

Add the disk to storage servers

You need to perform these steps at all trusted storage pool servers. You need to add your storage server to an additional disk. And mount point should be separated from the root file system.

[root@dockert01 ~]# fdisk  /dev/sdb
Welcome to fdisk (util-linux 2.23.2).

Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
Be careful before using the write command.

Device does not contain a recognized partition table
Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0x7dbe5c4a.

Command (m for help): n --> New Partition
Partition type:
   p   primary (0 primary, 0 extended, 4 free)
   e   extended
Select (default p): p
Partition number (1-4, default 1): 1 --> Partition Number
First sector (2048-16777215, default 2048):  -->Press Enter
Using default value 2048
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G} (2048-16777215, default 16777215): 
Using default value 16777215
Partition 1 of type Linux and of size 8 GiB is set

Command (m for help): w --> Write Changes to disk
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

[root@dockert01 ~]# mkfs.xfs /dev/sdb1 
meta-data=/dev/sdb1              isize=512    agcount=4, agsize=524224 blks
         =                       sectsz=512   attr=2, projid32bit=1
         =                       crc=1        finobt=0, sparse=0
data     =                       bsize=4096   blocks=2096896, imaxpct=25
         =                       sunit=0      swidth=0 blks
naming   =version 2              bsize=4096   ascii-ci=0 ftype=1
log      =internal log           bsize=4096   blocks=2560, version=2
         =                       sectsz=512   sunit=0 blks, lazy-count=1
realtime =none                   extsz=4096   blocks=0, rtextents=0

[root@dockert01 ~]# mkdir -p /data/gluster
[root@dockert01 ~]# mount  /dev/sdb1 /data/gluster/
[root@dockert01 ~]# df -h /data/gluster
/dev/sdb1                8.0G   33M  8.0G   1% /data/gluster

Add Storage nodes to the trusted storage pool

[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster peer probe dockert02
peer probe: success. 
[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster peer probe dockert03
peer probe: success. 
[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster peer status
Number of Peers: 2
Hostname: dockert02
Uuid: 182c8b4d-cad1-42a3-a77c-e7654c6110e8
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)
Hostname: dockert03
Uuid: 60ddf4ee-22ea-4c93-bad7-e428c37dc3d5
State: Peer in Cluster (Connected)

[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster pool list
UUID					Hostname 	State
182c8b4d-cad1-42a3-a77c-e7654c6110e8	dockert02	Connected 
60ddf4ee-22ea-4c93-bad7-e428c37dc3d5	dockert03	Connected 
07f4232c-5da6-4e0f-9b5d-0f65234f751a	localhost	Connected 

Create GlusterFS volume group

You need to create a brick directory called "gvol0" on all storage nodes.

[root@dockert01 ~]# mkdir -p /data/gluster/gvol0
[root@dockert02 ~]# mkdir -p /data/gluster/gvol0
[root@dockert03 ~]# mkdir -p /data/gluster/gvol0

You may want to check this link to supported architecture on glusterFS. I will perform to setup the process for  "Replicated Glusterfs Volume" architecture with 3 replicas.  The number of replicas can be defined while create volume.


***Perform this  step on one  of the  nodes  in trusted pool.***
[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster volume create gvol0 replica 3 dockert01:/data/gluster/gvol0 dockert02:/data/gluster/gvol0 dockert03:/data/gluster/gvol0 
volume create: gvol0: success: please start the volume to access data
[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster volume start gvol0
volume start: gvol0: success
[root@dockert01 ~]# 

Get Information about volume

[root@dockert01 ~]# gluster volume info gvol0
Volume Name: gvol0
Type: Replicate
Volume ID: fa97f509-52c9-4243-bdda-a600e549c574
Status: Started
Snapshot Count: 0
Number of Bricks: 1 x 3 = 3
Transport-type: tcp
Brick1: dockert01:/data/gluster/gvol0
Brick2: dockert02:/data/gluster/gvol0
Brick3: dockert03:/data/gluster/gvol0
Options Reconfigured:
transport.address-family: inet
nfs.disable: on
performance.client-io-threads: off


Test GlusterFS file system

You should install glusterFS client package on the client-server which needs to access the file.

[root@client mnt]#yum install  glusterfs-client-xlators.x86_64
[root@client mnt]#mount -t glusterfs dockert01:/gvol0 /mnt/glusterfs01/
[root@client mnt]#mount -t glusterfs dockert02:/gvol0 /mnt/glusterfs02/
[root@client mnt]#mount -t glusterfs dockert03:/gvol0 /mnt/glusterfs03/
[root@client mnt]#cd /mnt/
[root@client mnt]# ls   -lrt  glusterfs*
total 0
glusterfs03:	→ Node03
total 0
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:04 file01
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:05 file03
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:05 file02

glusterfs02: 	→ Node02
total 0
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:04 file01
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:05 file03
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:05 file02

glusterfs01:	→ Node01
total 0
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:04 file01
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:05 file03
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Dec 25 15:05 file02

I'm a IT Infrastructure and Operations Architect with extensive experience and administration skills and works for Turk Telekom. I provide hardware and software support for the IT Infrastructure and Operations tasks.

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