For the uninformed, Clustered SMB brings highly available SMB file sharing services to mission critical environments. More importantly, Clustered SMB is high availability in a scale-out clustered architecture.
My view beyond HA SMB
I am not familiar with Clustered SMB in a NAS (Network Attached Storage). The world I am more familiar with is either having CIFS/SMB file services on a dual controller storage appliance or running Windows File Sharing on an Microsoft® Clustered Service (MSCS). Typically in these 2 types of HA SMB services, the scale up architecture require a shared access to a consolidated storage volume. Behind the scenes, there are many mechanisms at play to ensure that one, and only one, storage controller or HA host can have write access capabilities at one time. The most common mechanism is the SCSI-3 Persistent Reservation or sometimes known as SCSI fencing, using the SPC-3 (SCSI Primary Command) primitives. The whole objective is to prevent 2 nodes or hosts to writing to the shared storage volume at the same time and other issues like split-brain.
[ Full disclosure: I work for iXsystems™ Inc. This eBook was 3/4 completed when I joined on July 1, 2020 ]
I am releasing my FreeNAS™ eBook today. It was completed about 4 weeks ago, but I wanted the release date to be significant which is August 31, 2020.
Why August 31st? Because today is Malaysia’s Independence Day.
Why the book?
I am an avid book collector. To be specific, IT and storage technology related books. Since I started working on FreeNAS™ several years ago, I wanted to find a book to learn. But the FreeNAS™ books in the market are based on an old version of FreeNAS™. And the FreeNAS™ documentation is a User Guide where it explains every feature without going deeper with integration of real life networking services, and situational applications such as SMB or NFS client configuration.
Since I have been doing significant amount of feature “testings” of FreeNAS™ from version 9.10 till the present version 11,3 on Virtualbox™, I have decided to fill that gap. I have decided to write a cookbook-style FreeNAS™ on Virtualbox™ that covers most of the real-life integration work with various requirements including Active Directory, cloud integration and so on. All for extending beyond the FreeNAS™ documentation.