The Power of MoSMB – high performance, high availability SMB 3.0 server on Linux

The MoSMB server stack on linux(Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Solaris) allows admins to achieve high availability, reduce operational costs and migrate virtual machines faster.

It can be widely used to provide file services to SMB clients. In addition, MoSMB also has enterprise grade features that help reduce cost for small and midsize businesses by providing storage for hyper-v server virtualization. MoSMB server is not just a file sharing server but with SMB protocol 3.0 features it has SMB Direct, SMB Multichannel (multiple connections per SMB session), SMB Transparent Failover, SMB Scale-Out, SMB Directory Leasing and many more.

To name a few advantages of MoSMB, with improved performance of SMB Direct, improved SMB bandwidth management, and enabling Hyper-V live migration of VMs and VM storage without failover clustering can be achieved.

Achieving high availability of Hyper-V VMs: One benefit that boosts the return on investments is the use of Mo-SMB file shares as a shared storage for Hyper-V hosts. This is sometimes referred to as “Hyper-V over SMB.” In earlier versions of Hyper-V you had to store Hyper-V VMs on a block-based storage to achieve high availability of the VMs.

With MoSMB, you can configure Mo-SMB file shares to host Hyper-V VM files such as VM configuration, virtual hard disks and snapshot files and expect the same reliability, availability and high performance that you achieve using block-based storage.

When implemented as a shared storage, MoSMB helps deploy a Hyper-V server virtualization infrastructure without spending precious IT dollars on expensive SAN devices. There are several other Hyper-V scenarios where MoSMB can be a useful. You can create a file server cluster running on linux machines, create SMB shares, configure the available properties for the SMB shares, and then have the SMB shares available for Hyper-V hosts for hosting the VM files.

If you deploy VM files over a Mo-SMB share created on unix-like servers (Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Solaris) the SMB Transparent Failover feature can help you provide continuous availability of VMs in case of any maintenance activity for one of the clustered nodes in a file server cluster. This is achievable by implementing MoSMB Scale-Out file server cluster. A MoSMB scale-out file server hosts Mo-SMB shares that are simultaneously online on all the nodes in a file server cluster.

SMB shares accessed over smb clients on Scale-out server

Reducing operational expenditure: You can manage file shares instead of requiring someone with expertise to manage storage fabric and LUNs which, in turn, helps you reduce the operating expenditures associated with managing a SAN environment. A virtual administrator who knows how to manage a file share can easily manage MoSMB shares rather than requiring another administrator to manage the complex SAN environment.

MoSMB as a shared storage for VHDX file sharing: The VHDX file sharing feature of Hyper-V helps you implement guest clustering without exposing SAN storage to Hyper-V guests. The VHDX file that will be shared among the multiple VMs must be kept on a shared storage.

Some Hyper-V features use SMB: It is worth mentioning that SMB has a role to play for some of the notable Hyper-V features such as Storage Live Migration and Shared Nothing Live Migration introduced in Windows Server 2012. Neither of those features require linux failover clustering to be implemented to utilize the SMB 3.0 capabilities to move VM and its storage while the VM is running.

Faster Live Migration of VMs: For Hyper-v live migration of VMs, administrators can select SMB Direct or SMB over RDMA in MoSMB for live migration protocol for transferring VMs to other Hyper-v hosts. RDMA network acceleration will give faster live migration.

A protocol for future virtualization: In SMB 3.1.1 protocol, features like SQOS have been added for cloud deployments. This is being supported in MoSMB server stack and will be available to customers by Q2 2017.


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