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NBD (Network Block Device)

© November 2005 Anthony Lawrence

Bird's eye view: you have a block device, for example /dev/nda. It acts like any other block device, which means that you can create a file system on it, make it part of a mirror or RAID 5 array and so on. But the actual hardware is somewhere out on the network.

Most likely a *local* network, of course. Maybe someday you could do this on a public network, but local is scary enough. The bug list for this project makes you wonder why anyone would even think about deploying it for important data - it just goes on and on and on with hangs and crashes. Sounds like a great way to spend the weekend, doesn't it?

Links: nbd at sourceforge.net/


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Mon Nov 7 13:59:29 2005: 1300   drag

Something a bit along the same lines for doing disk sharing, but much more sophisticated and probably much better would be something like Redhat's GFS (global file server).
http: kerneltrap.org/node/3348
(link dead, sorry)
I don't realy know all that much about it. But from what I understand it's not like traditional file servers like NFS or SMB/CIFS, were your sharing files and directories, it's more for sharing actual disk space/resources more directly. They access the devices directly, at the block level, and can manage everything using stuff like a extended version of LVM2. Very similar fasion to managing local volumes with lvm2.

It's made up of different parts.. they have the GNBN which is the part for the actual sharing of file system block devices over a network.

It's pretty interesting, I think.

Mon Nov 7 14:04:51 2005: 1301   TonyLawrence

Very interesting, yes.

I'm sure we'll see more and more of this stuff and as the Internet becomes more reliable and faster, it might be possible to build truly distributed storage.. scary thought. Nearly unimaginable now because of latency, but whio knows what the future is? A lot of stuff that we never thought was possible is coming true..

Tue Nov 8 13:38:19 2005: 1308   TonyLawrence

Speaking of "never thought possible", how about 30Mbps internet accessc for $65.00 a month: (link)

That's pretty incredible pricing compared to a 1.5Mbs T1 line, isn't it?

Tue Nov 8 15:05:46 2005: 1309   drag

pretty good.

Right now on my cable line I have the fastest download speeds of about 4Gb/s. However upload is capped pretty fearcely. This can be slow compared to some countries's interet access speed were things are subsidized more.

It's going to be funny when the local network speed on older networks becomes a limiting factor to the speed of internet access.

One of the things that people will start trying to push is the elimination of contracts for parts of the radio spectrum for TV and such. It will be much more efficient use of the airwave for digital wireless networking. Then if you want a TV station you just setup a website for people to click on and stream from.

Of course some media people are terrified of this sort of thing. It would lower the cost of running a TV station from what it is now with big transmitters or contracts with cable companies to simply having a reliable internet connection. Anybody could do it, pretty much.

Tue Nov 8 15:39:18 2005: 1310   TonyLawrence

Right you are, Drag, except I'd say just about ALL traditional media is afraid of the web.

Gutenberg lowered the cost of publishing, but the web is going to lower it to almost nothing for all media.

Sat Jun 29 10:15:39 2013: 12178   TonyLawrence


I just checked - it's still alive- modified as recently as two months ago - and has good ratings.


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