Vblade - ATA over Ethernet
ATA over Ethernet (AoE) is a network protocol developed by the Brantley Coile Company (now Coraid), designed for accessing ATA storage devices over Ethernet networks. It gives the possibility to build SANs with low-cost, standard technologies.
- AoE avoids the usual high-level TCP/IP or UDP protocols; it's a base-level protocol itself. (For the technically-minded, it is an OSI level 2 protocol.) This gives the advantage of higher speed transfers, as the protocol doesn't have to build upon existing structures. In comparison, iSCSI runs over TCP/IP.
- It apparently uses less CPU time than the similar iSCSI protocol. For the technically minded, the AoE specification  is 8 pages compared with iSCSI's 257 pages.
- AoE is not routable over LANs and is intended for SANs only, which can provide greatly increased security.
- Each partition on the server computer can only be used by one client at a time; AoE is not intended to be a replacement for NFS or similar protocols which run on top of filesystems. It is designed to work at a much lower level.
- As the protocol is non-routable, the servers cannot be separated by routers.
- ATA Over Ethernet is therefore useful for creating cheap SANs, but it is not intended for the average user. It is very definitely not useful for sharing files easily: NFS or Samba is much better for this.
The Linkstation is used as a server running vblade. A separate computer is a client running aoetools. This version of vblade runs in userspace, however there are versions that run in kernelspace.
|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|
- Get access to packages from the Debian unstable branch
- use apt-get to install vblade:
apt-get install vblade
usage: vblade <shelf> <slot> <ethn> <device>
vblade 1 2 eth0 /dev/sda1 &
|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
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
- Wikipedia:ATA over Ethernet
- Coraid:: The Linux Storage People
- Gentoo Linux Wiki:HOWTO aoe
- LinuxDevices.com - ATA-over-Ethernet enables low-cost Linux-oriented SAN
- Linux Journal - Kernel Korner - ATA Over Ethernet: Putting Hard Drives on the LAN
- Advanced Technology Attachment(ATA) over Ethernet - (AoE)
- Coraid: The AoE Protocol
- RFC 3720 - Internet Small Computer Systems Interface - (iSCSI)
- Vblade Linux kernel module
- Sourceforge: Kvblade
- Sourceforge: Vblade
- Sourceforge: ATA Over Ethernet Tools
- Debian Package: aoetools - tools to assist in using ATA over Ethernet
- Linux Support for EtherDrive (R) Storage