Samba clustering with GlusterFS (sambaXP 2020)

In this "Report from the field" Günther Deschner (Red Hat / Samba Team) and Anoop C S (Red Hat) talk about "Samba clustering with GlusterFS". Their presentation was part of this year's sambaXP 2020.


Samba supports building a clustered SMB storage solution using the Gluster filesystem for several years now. While Samba and it’s cluster component CTDB are well established components for SMB clustering, the Gluster filesystem itself needed to adapt in various areas to provide all necessary features.

The talk covers the lessons learned during the process of maturing the Samba and GlusterFS setup and explore the architecture of Samba and GlusterFS in general. Based on support experiences we  point out the importance of sometimes overseen prerequisites in the area of networking and DNS. Driven by customer demands several important performance improvements have been made in the past months. Users of the glusterfs fuse filesystem now can use a new Samba VFS module that provides enhanced guarantees for accessing files within the cluster. It also implements a mechanism to circumvent expensive case folding pathname operations. The older Samba VFS module which consumes Gluster’s gfapi library now uses Samba’s threadpool implementation based on pthreads which lead to significant performance improvements. The presentation concludes with an outlook for the ongoing work related to SMB3 features such as multichannel and transparent failover.

(Slides as PDF)

About the "sambaXP 2020 Retrospective"

In this series we will present recordings of the sambaXP 2020 in the coming weeks. The 19th edition of the international conference on the open source software Samba took place from 26 - 28 May 2020 for the first time exclusively in digital form. Due to the changed event format and the use of an online conference platform, organizer SerNet is able to offer all talks as videos for viewing (link).

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