Mount Object Storage System in Linux

This article describes how to mount Object Storage System in Linux machines.

Before we go to our “mounting stuff” let us talk a bit about importance of Data Storage.

Data Storage, Does it has any importance ? It has to be!. In this Digital Universe, data is everything and is a vital part of any enterprise. Data loss can cause severe consequences to your million dollar business. It is the crucial information, ie details of a company by all means say Project details, employee details, Database files, Web Site files and so on.

There is no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to storing data. Many companies are very particular about the storage solution because it has to be reliable and safe. Choosing the best storage solution depends on each companies data storage management strategy. Big companies prefer to invest in building their own data storage system. On the contrary, small businesses rely on third party Online Data Storage service providers. As time moves on, technology is growing fast. Nowadays many companies are providing Online Data Storage service and we use to mention them with trending word “Cloud Storage System“.

In Cloud storage, most widely known is none other than Object Storage System. Simply saying Object Storage is not a traditional file system. It doesn’t provide access to raw blocks of data. It doesn’t offer file-based access either. Then what is it ? It is a storage mechanism that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures like file systems which manage data as a file hierarchy. It provides access via API at application-level, rather than via OS at file system-level. Object storage uses the functionality “Cluster Replication“. Files are written to multiple disks spread through different servers located in the Data Center. Since the datas are replicated across the cluster, ensuring that in the event when a single server fails, datas will be still retrievable.

Object Storage public cloud giants such as Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, SoftLayer Object Storage uses OpenStack Swift platform. The primary use of Object Storage is to store large amount of data for long term storage solution such as system backups and file archiving.

Here we will discuss, how to mount SoftLayer Object Storage in Linux Machine.

So lets do the “mounting stuff“.

For mounting SoftLayer Object Storage, following Object Storage account details are needed.

a) username
b) api_key
c) authurl

These informations can be obtained from SoftLayer Control Panel >> Storage >> Object Storage >> Select the created object storage and then click “view credentials” ( Please see the below image )

sl-object

SoftLayer’s Object Storage is mounted in Linux as native directory. So once we mounted it, it appears like a local directory and you can move the files/folders around  between local disk and Cloud Storage. In order to mount it, we need to install cloudfuse package in our Linux machine. Cloudfuse is a FUSE application which provides access remote storage system. At first, we will need to install fuse and necessary packages to use this application.

Step1 :

For CentOS/RedHat based

root@server:~]# yum install gcc make fuse-devel curl-devel libxml2-devel openssl-devel fuse

For Debian/Ubuntu based

root@server:~# apt-get install build-essential libcurl4-openssl-dev libxml2-dev libssl-dev libfuse-dev

Step2 :

Download the cloudfuse files via https://github.com/redbo/cloudfuse/tarball/master

Step3 :

Extract the files.

root@server:~]# tar -xzvf redbo-cloudfuse-21358f1.tar.gz

Step4 :

Compile the cloudfuse binary.

[root@server ~]# cd redbo-cloudfuse-21358f1

root@server redbo-cloudfuse-21358f1:~]# ./configure

root@server redbo-cloudfuse-21358f1:~]# make

root@server redbo-cloudfuse-21358f1:~]# make install

Check that the cloudfuse binary was installed.

root@server:~]# which cloudfuse
/usr/local/bin/cloudfuse

Step5 :

Before you can mount the Object Storage account, we will need to create a file in our home directory with SoftLayer Object Storage account details. The file should be named “.cloudfuse“. Lets create it.

Create the file /root/.cloudfuse and save the following contents.

username=your username
api_key=key or password string
authurl=https://dal05.objectstorage.softlayer.net/auth/v1.0/

Note: Your “authurl” will be dependent on the location of your Object Storage since there are end points in different geographical region.

Then create a folder so we can mount the storage system to it.

[root@server ~]# mkdir /storage

Now we will run cloudfuse command to mount the Cloud Storage System in our linux machine.

[root@server ~]# cloudfuse /storage

[root@server ~]# df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root
6.7G 1.5G 4.9G 24% /
tmpfs 497M 0 497M 0% /dev/shm
/dev/xvda1 485M 77M 383M 17% /boot
cloudfuse 8.0T 0 8.0T 0% /storage
[root@server ~]#

Thats it and You’re done! We could see that Object Storage System was successfully mounted to mount point /storage. Now we have the Cloud Storage System available in our machine. We can use this storage as our backup storage solution, location to store critical contents or can be even used as online collaboration services.

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