What Type of Shared Storage is Right For Your Organization?

You may be wondering what shared storage is, and how it can help you with your organization. We will cover SAN and NAS, as well as eDirectory and Identity Manager. The shared storage proposal is currently under active discussion. To read the proposal and ask questions, please visit GitHub. Developers should ask questions on the Privacy Sandbox Developer Support repo. This document should help you decide which type of storage is right for your company.


SAN is a type of storage that shares space across multiple computers. Its main difference from a NAS or other shared storage is the lack of file system abstraction. Server operating systems maintain their own file systems on dedicated LUNs. If multiple systems shared a LUN, the data would interfere and corrupt each other’s data. In a SAN, data is shared using software that is tailored to the needs of the server. This software enables SAN devices to share data on a file system level.

SANs are rarely single machines; instead, they are built from several independent parts. Even inexpensive SANs typically have one physical chassis with a pair of controllers. The controllers are configured to fail over in case of hardware failure or maintenance. SANs are also faster than NASs and can support multiple tiers of storage at once. Because of their speed and capacity, SANs can be more efficient when it comes to storing data.


NAS stands for network attached storage. While a network of computers can be used for data storage, it’s still considered shared storage because it operates in a shared environment. This can make it harder for system administrators to enforce storage quotas, and it can be expensive as well. For this reason, many users prefer a local disk or SAN. NAS solutions come in different sizes and cost ranges, and they support hybrid cloud models.

NAS devices don’t need full-featured operating systems, and often use an operating system stripped down to the minimum. An open source NAS solution is available, including TrueNAS and XigmaNAS. NAS systems typically have a number of hard disk drives arranged in redundant and logical storage containers. NAS systems typically employ either RAID or file-based protocols such as SMB. The former protocol was developed by Microsoft and IBM, while SMB is a proprietary protocol used by Apple’s File Service. The latter protocol, NFS, originated at Sun Microsystems and is used in Unix systems. NFS is an open standard defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force/Internet Society Request for Comments. Both protocols have free open source implementations.


EDirectory shared storage lets two physical machines run the same eDirectory Data InfoBase. In other words, the two servers act like one eDirectory server. Unlike iSCSI, shared storage does not require complicated network protocols, strange file transfer rules, or nightly synchronization schedules. It also works with other types of storage, such as shared disks. To set up eDirectory shared storage, you must use the eDirectory resource script.

When configuring eDirectory shared storage, you must configure both the DIB and the NICI data on shared storage. This data is used to replicate server-specific keys across clusters. Additionally, any other configuration data associated with eDirectory should reside on shared storage. For high availability, you can consider using clustering, though in some environments, this is not necessary. Shared storage high availability clusters are generally supported by eDirectory.

Identity Manager

In the case of Linux systems, Identity Manager uses shared storage for home directories. Users of Identity Management are allowed to access servers and services in the domain via Kerberos authentication. By default, home directories are prefixed with /home. This feature works best when configured for users on SELinux-compliant systems, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. When installing IdM, be sure to enable pam_oddjob_mkhomedir to make use of this feature.

Oracle Identity Manager uses shared storage for its user accounts. Its capabilities are extensive, ranging from password management and identity reconciliation to IT administration costs. Oracle Identity Manager is available as a standalone product or as part of the Oracle Identity Management Suite. Whether you choose to install it on your own or use the Oracle Identity Management Suite, this product will help you meet regulatory compliance and security requirements while reducing your costs. If you want to know more about Identity Manager, read on to learn more about this product.


OCFS2 is a fully cache coherent cluster file system. The data grows in contiguous chunks and supports variable-size files. To view the details of OCFS2, use o2info(1). You can also enable debugfs. The following sections explain the features of OCFS2.

OCFS2 provides local file-system semantics for clusters. It also supports cache-coherent parallel I/O. Applications that are cluster-aware can balance activity across a cluster, utilizing available file-system functionality. In addition, when one server fails, it can fail over to another to maintain consistency. OCFS2 supports a distributed lock manager and writes information when a file is changed. OCFS2 also supports resident files, which do not change the view of a file’s content but write to a shared file.

Direct attached storage

Direct attached storage is a convenient and affordable method of shared storage. Unlike other storage solutions, which require additional hardware and software, direct attached storage is directly attached to a computer. However, it has certain limitations, such as limited scalability. External and internal direct attached storage are limited by the number of drive bays available and the capacities of their ports. In addition, internal direct attached storage may require the host computer to be powered off before the storage can be accessed.

External and internal direct storage are easy to configure and set up. They are also plug and play, assuming an appropriate interface is available. Performance modeling is also relatively simple for DAS storage, especially when RAID is used. However, modeling shared storage is more difficult due to multiple workloads competing for the available storage. If the number of computers increases, direct attached storage may not be the best option. Thus, it is important to consider the requirements of your organization before purchasing and installing a shared storage solution.