Storage is becoming cheaper with time while storage requirements are ever increasing. With the increased amounts of data as well as access speed the demands for reliability is also coming into focus.
With the Linux operating system all these requirements and more too are met, making high performance solution cost efficient.
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Copyright (c) 2000 by Stein Gjoen
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Linux supports today most current storage related hardware that can be connected to the ATA or SCSI bus such as hard disks CD-ROMs and CD writers, DVD ROM and tape storage. Please refer to the hardware guide and Linux distribution vendor references for details. There is also a Hardware RAID with extensive lists of hardware supported by Linux. There are also some HOWTOs for specific hardware such as for Jaz drives, DPT SCSI RAID controllers, Large disk drives.
There is also information on interfacing devices to the SCSI bus.
Naturally many manufacturers of controllers, such as IDE, SCSI, RAID etc, also support Linux
For convenience it is possible to buy fully integrated Linux based turn key systems from a number of vendors.
In addition to Linux based device drivers Linux also supports extended functionality such as Software RAID for extended performance and reliability and Logical Volume Management for ease of scaling storage systems
Disk configuration optimising is detailled in the Multi Disk HOWTO
Often high availability is an important issue and again Linux supports this extensively, refer to the High Availability HOWTO for more information.
Linux can integrate well with a number of other system, not just by networking but also in storage. For instance Linux is capable of reading and writing a number of file systems as used by other operating systems. This is outlined in the File System HOWTO which includes a connectivity map.
Also Linux can coexist with other operating systems on the same hard disk making multi boot possible. More information is found in the Linux+DOS+Win95+OS2 HOWTO and the Linux+FreeBSD.html to mention but a few.
More information of guides and supporting documents can be obtained free and on line from the Linux Documentation Project.
Large scale Linux based storage systems are already in widespread use in the industry, showing Linux is a working solution for storage and reliability scaling from personal use to global internet based providers such as Google and Deja.