Long-time readers of my blog know of my love for Drobo, but the time has come to say goodbye. My old Drobos (and Iomega ix-4) are showing their age and I decided to go in a different direction: I’m building a FreeNAS server. In this article I’ll talk about my thinking behind this move; later posts will talk in more detail about the hardware and software setup.
Microsoft’s place in the datacenter is secure, and Windows Server really hums with SMB 2/3 storage. The enterprise storage industry needed an alternative to Samba and do-it-yourself SMB servers, and it’s good to see Visuality Systems step up with NQ Storage. Although I have not seen it in action, their OEM claims sound good and their roadmap looks right.
I had a little bit of a learning experience this week regarding NFS exports and Mac OS X that I thought would be interesting to share with my readers. It’s part “simple tip” and part “facepalm.”
It’s clear how this fairy tale ends. So many companies are using “S3 plus” as their standard interface, and even inside their solutions, that it’s safe to say it’s won the cloud storage API battle. But S3 isn’t a finalized spec – the industry will extend and improve it over the coming years. Soon we’ll have a cloud storage standard based on S3, just like we have a LAN file services standard based on CIFS.
Samba is becoming more and more important. Windows servers will increasingly use SMB 3.0 as their networked storage protocol in Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3. And EMC’s purchase of Likewise means the rest of the storage industry is looking for an SMB stack. But I’m most interested to see what Active Directory support means for future home and business devices.