The Red Hat Global File System 2 (GFS2) is a native file system that interfaces directly with the Linux kernel file system interface (VFS layer). When implemented as a cluster file system, GFS2 employs distributed metadata and multiple journals.
GFS2 is based on 64-bit architecture, which can theoretically accommodate an 8 exabyte file system. However, the current supported maximum size of a GFS2 file system is 100 TB. If a system requires GFS2 file systems larger than 100 TB, contact your Red Hat service representative.
When determining the size of a file system, consider its recovery needs. Running the
fsck command on a very large file system can take a long time and consume a large amount of memory. Additionally, in the event of a disk or disk-subsystem failure, recovery time is limited by the speed of backup media.
When configured in a Red Hat Cluster Suite, Red Hat GFS2 nodes can be configured and managed with Red Hat Cluster Suite configuration and management tools. Red Hat GFS2 then provides data sharing among GFS2 nodes in a Red Hat cluster, with a single, consistent view of the file system namespace across the GFS2 nodes. This allows processes on different nodes to share GFS2 files in the same way that processes on the same node can share files on a local file system, with no discernible difference. For information about the Red Hat Cluster Suite, see Red Hat's Cluster Administration guide.
A GFS2 must be built on a logical volume (created with LVM) that is a linear or mirrored volume. Logical volumes created with LVM in a Red Hat Cluster suite are managed with CLVM (a cluster-wide implementation of LVM), enabled by the CLVM daemon
, and running in a Red Hat Cluster Suite cluster. The daemon makes it possible to use LVM2 to manage logical volumes across a cluster, allowing all nodes in the cluster to share the logical volumes. For information on the Logical Volume Manager, see Red Hat's Logical Volume Manager Administration
gfs2.ko kernel module implements the GFS2 file system and is loaded on GFS2 cluster nodes.
For comprehensive information on the creation and configuration of GFS2 file systems in clustered and non-clustered storage, see Red Hat's Global File System 2