Q

Limiting access to a SAN volume

This advice details how to set up multiple servers with read-only access to the same SAN volume and have a single server read-write access to the same SAN volume.

Is it possible to have multiple servers with read-only access to the same SAN volume and have a single server read-write access to the same SAN volume? Do you have any advice for setting up a system this way?
Yup... my advice is to not do it unless you use a cluster or global file system (GFS) that controls access to the LUN by each system via a lock manager. If not, you may be risking data corruption.

One way to do it without a clustered file system is to provide single writer access (on one server) to the LUN via the SAN, and then create a network share on that server for multiple read access by the other servers over the LAN.

Some clustering products include: Veritas VCS, Microsoft MSCS, SunCluster, TruCluster and VMS Cluster.

Some GFS solutions include: SAMFs/Qfs, Sistina, Panasas, IBRIX, SGI IRIX, Lustre, IBM TotalStorage and SANfs.

This was first published in December 2005

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