So I was thinking about how to work around the issues I found in OpenFiler. Basically the inability to upgrade drivers is the critical issue.
Well, if OpenFiler never touches the hardware, this is much less of an issue.
Bear with me.
Basically, we sell JackRabbit as a server or an appliance, and pre-configure it so that our customers can pull it out of the box, stick it into the rack or on the floor, turn it on, and start working. We want this to be the case no matter what … that there is no installation effort required for them. In this sense, we want the hardware to be an appliance.
OpenFiler is pretty good kit, as long as you don’t need to add/update drivers to handle the hardware.
So why should we let it?
Run it as a VM atop our normal base load. Have the VM start when the OS starts. Have the base system export its disk(s) via iSCSI or similar to the virtualized OpenFiler. You get all the benefits of OpenFiler, with none of the pain of making sure the system has drivers for the disks. It no longer needs them.
JackRabbit has more than enough power to run this in a VM. Will explore this on DeltaV as well.
If this works as well as I think it will, we should be able to support OpenFiler without worrying that its RAID card drivers are ancient, or that it has specific kernel issues dealing with other cards.
Run it in a VM.
Keep it away from the bare silicon.