LINBIT SDS and xiRAID have proven to work exceptionally well together, and with LINBIT SDS now on Xinnor xiRAID, I wanted to cover the subject on our blog.
Linux is not short of software RAID options:
- Md-raid is the oldest and probably best-known option. It has been on the upstream Linux kernel for many years, sometimes showing a bit of its age. It supports the well-known RAID levels 0, 1, 4, 5, 6, and 10.
- Dm-raid. LVM has built-in support for RAID as well. The kernel bits share code with Md-raid behind the scenes. It is about the same, with a modern interface that fits nicely into LVM.
- ZFS comes with various RAID implementations. ZFS is not part of the upstream Linux kernel, but it ships with some distributions (Ubuntu is one example).
Xinnor is a company from Israel that has spent a long time researching and optimizing software RAID. Their solution xiRAID offers better optimizations than the open-source RAID implementations and a few additional RAID levels to the usual ones. Please see the Xinnor website for more details on their exceptional performance. I was especially intrigued by the article on hardware RAID vs software RAID for NVMe drives. Check the topics on their blog; I could spend hours reading all the fascinating insights there.
We at LINBIT verified that LINBIT SDS is compatible with xiRAID. Our first impulse was to assume it would be because DRBD works with all kinds of storage devices with a Linux driver.
I want to give a better statement than the first assumption, so here is a test of the combination:
We tested it on two Ubuntu 22.04.2 virtual machines.
xiRAID for Ubuntu comes as a DKMS package, which compiles to a kernel module called “xiraid”. We put LVM on top of that and DRBD on top, just like LINSTOR would do it. We did several functional tests, and they showed no unexpected behavior.
Possible use cases for LINBIT SDS together with xiRAID are virtualization and containers with stateful workloads, media delivery, online gaming. For these applications, LINBIT offers cloud-like agility and great management, combined with node-level protection. At the same time, xiRAID provides high performance even in the event of drive failures and low latency, combined with low CPU and memory utilization.
LINBIT SDS and xiRAID play well together. If you are considering this combination, contact us today, and we can help you craft a solution to meet your needs.