Openfiler converts an industry standard x86/64 architecture system into a
full-fledged NAS/SAN appliance or IP storage gateway and provides storage
administrators with a powerful tool to cope with burgeoning storage needs.
Building upon the popularity of server virtualization technologies such as
VMware, Virtual Iron, and Xen, Openfiler can also be deployed as a virtual
This deployment flexibility of Openfiler ensures that storage administrators
are able to make the best use of system performance and storage capacity
resources when allocating and managing networked storage in a multi-platform
Openfiler addresses all the key data storage concerns:
Openfiler is the first commercially viable Open Source NAS/SAN solution and
it comes with a wealth of features and capabilities that address specific
storage management pain points. First, it can be installed on industry standard
server hardware, negating the need for expensive proprietary storage systems.
Simply run through the 10 minute installation process on an industry standard
server from Dell, HP, IBM or Compaq, setup configuration in 10 minutes and you
are left with a powerful networked storage appliance.
Also, unlike many proprietary storage solutions, Openfiler management is
performed via a powerful and intuitive web-based graphical user interface.
Through this interface, an administrator can perform various administrative
tasks such as creating volumes, network shares, allocating disk quota for users
and groups and managing RAID arrays.
As a purely software-based solution, Openfiler can be downloaded and
installed in minutes on any industry standard hardware. It is the perfect
solution for redeploying or breathing new life into previously ancillary
hardware resources. It can be used to build a storage gateway for existing
deployed SAN or DAS storage systems. In that context, Openfiler creates new
avenues for sharing existing storage capacity.
Openfiler supports a plethora of hardware RAID and Fibre Channel controllers
and disk technologies such as SAS, SATA and SCSI. Fast, Gigabit and 10 Gigabit
Ethernet controllers from Intel and Broadcom can also be integrated to provide
high bandwidth access to data over a TCP/IP network. And, of course, both the
Intel Xeon® and AMD Opteron® range of x86-64 architeciture
enterprise computing processors are supported. RAID controllers from vendors
such as Adaptec, LSI Logic, HP, IBM and Intel are fully compatible, amongst
For Fibre Channel, Openfiler support PCI-E and PCI-X host bus adapters from
Qlogic and Emulex. Openfiler is compatible with a slew of network interface
controllers including Intel and Broadcom based chipsets. For very high bandwidth
requirements, 10Gb Ethernet and Infiniband interconnects are excellent options.
Openfiler continues to integrate and enable hardware support as new solutions
and technologies are introduced by respective industry leaders in the storage
and networking arenas.
With a range of file-based and block-based storage export protocols, there is
something in Openfiler for everyone. Openfiler provides both block-level and
file-level storage networking capabilities. At the block-level, storage can be
Openfiler presents a unified storage export paradigm by supporting both
block-level and file-level storage networking protocols. Storage may be
allocated across any or all protocols simultaneously allowing data to be
accessed from a heterogeneous base of network clients - be they Unix, Windows or
Mac. As the transition in horizontal scale-out of computing resources by
taking advantage of Operating System virtualization technologies gathers pace,
iSCSI target functionality in Openfiler stakes a claim in the sphere of
compelling solutions to the problem of allocating and managing backend storage
to complete the overall virtualization architecture. In Openfiler, iSCSI coupled
with Openfiler's powerful dynamic volume manager gives administrators a powerful
and flexible storage networking solution that will scale in terms of
performance, reliability and availability.
No amount of technical features in a storage solution can compensate for a
lack of good administrative capabilities. Openfiler meets this challenge head-on
with its powerful and intuitive web-based graphical user interface (GUI). All
facets of the trove of storage networking capabilities in Openfiler are
controlled via this management interface. Management capabilities are grouped
into separate sub-interfaces in accordance with their functional domain;
networking, physical volumes, user and group authentication/authorization,
system configuration and status information are each given a scope.
At the base level, allocation of disks or other block-level resources such as
hardware RAID volumes into distinct components can be achieved within the
physical volume management scope. Physical volume management is in turn a
sub-domain of the overall volume management capabilities in the GUI which
includes features such as dynamic volume aggregation, logical volume allocation
and distribution and point in time copy (snapshot) management.