Vblade - ATA over Ethernet

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Contents

Background

ATA over Ethernet (AoE)[1] is a network protocol developed by the Brantley Coile Company (now Coraid)[2], designed for accessing ATA storage devices over Ethernet networks. It gives the possibility to build SANs with low-cost, standard technologies. AoE does not rely on network layers above Ethernet, such as IP, UDP, TCP, etc. This means that AoE is not routable over LANs and is intended for SANs only. An alternative to iSCSI, the AoE specification[3] [4] is 8 pages compared with iSCSI's[5] 257 pages.


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WARNING!

There is a possibility that you could brick your NAS with these instructions. Please make sure that you read the entire page carefully. This was a proof of concept exercise that someone on the IRC proposed. I bricked my LS the first time I played with this and had to reflash


Installation

The Linkstation is used as a server running vblade and a computer running ubuntu used as a client running aoetools. This version of vblade runs in userspace, however there is a version that runs in kernelspace.[6]

USB Drive
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I bricked my LS when trying to mount an internal partition the first time I tried this, so I used a usb drive this time around. Which on my LinkStation was /dev/sda1 - Ramuk


Server (vblade)

FreeLink

Use aptitude to install vblade componant of AOE. You will need to have the unstable branch added: Get access to packages from the Debian unstable branch

apt-get install vblade

usage: vblade <shelf> <slot> <ethn> <device>

vblade 1 2 eth0 /dev/sda1 &

Client (aoetools)

Install the aoetools[7] package [8] using aptitude. You will need to have Unstable (Debian) or Testing (Debian) branch enabled.

My Client
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In this case I have a PIII/600 Compaq Armada laptop running Ubuntu Dapper Drake. - Ramuk


sudo apt-get aoetools
mkdir mountpoint
sudo modprobe aoe

check to see that your vblade device is available to mount

sudo aoe-stat

you should see output like this:

e1.2        20.003GB   eth0 up

Mount this device on your client

sudo mount -t vfat /dev/etherd/e1.2 mountpoint/

and try it out, hopefully it works. There is some useful Linux support on the Coraid site[9]

References

  1. Wikipedia:ATA over Ethernet
  2. Coraid:: The Linux Storage People
  3. Advanced Technology Attachment(ATA) over Ethernet - (AoE)
  4. Coraid: The AoE Protocol
  5. RFC 3720 - Internet Small Computer Systems Interface - (iSCSI)
  6. Vblade Linux kernel module
  7. ATA Over Ethernet Tools and vblade - the server side part of AoE and this one runs in userspace
  8. Debian Package: aoetools - tools to assist in using ATA over Ethernet
  9. Linux Support for EtherDrive (R) Storage