Reliable NAS from Dirt Cheap Commodity Hardware

To many of us, the integrity of our data is paramount. Unfortunately, the most cost effective commodity hardware available tends to omit important features like ECC memory, or only provides it at a substantial cost premium. To address this, an approach that makes use of concepts taken from NAS and clustering, combined with a novel trick to obtain a CRC on data blocks from existing ethernet NICs is used. The resulting code is built on top of the existing Linux Network Block Device, network drivers and async io. Details ranging from design considerations to performance tuning and implementation provide an interesting story on how to attain a much easier, and cheaper, reliable storage solution.

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