GlusterFS is a scale-out network-attached storage file system. It has found applications including cloud computing, streaming media services, and content delivery networks. GlusterFS was developed originally by Gluster, Inc. and then by Red Hat, Inc., as a result of Red Hat acquiring Gluster in 2011. Red Hat Gluster Storage is a GlusterFS-based Red Hat Storage Server.

HDFS iRODS Ceph GlusterFS Lustre
Architecture Centralized Centralized Distributed Decentralized Centralized
Naming Index Database CRUSH EHA Index
Fault detection Fully connect P2P Fully connect Detected Manually
System Availability No failover No failover High High Failover
Data availability Replication Replication Replication RAID-like No
Placement strategy Auto Manual Auto Manual No
Replication Async Sync Sync Sync RAID-like
Cache consistency WORM, lease Lock Lock No Lock
Load balancing Auto Manual Manual Manual No
Depardon et al. (2013). Analysis of Six Distributed File Systems.

GlusterFS is a scalable network filesystem suitable for data-intensive tasks such as cloud storage and media streaming. GlusterFS is free and open source software and can utilize common off-the-shelf hardware. Gluster is a software defined distributed storage that can scale to several petabytes. It provides interfaces for object, block and file storage. Read more

Types of Volumes

Volume is the collection of bricks and most of the gluster file system operations happen on the volume. Gluster file system supports different types of volumes based on the requirements. Some volumes are good for scaling storage size, some for improving performance and some for both.
1. Distributed Glusterfs Volume
2. Replicated Glusterfs Volume
3. Distributed Replicated Glusterfs Volume
‚Äč4. Striped Glusterfs Volume
5. Distributed Striped Glusterfs Volume


GlusterFS is a userspace filesystem. This was a decision made by the GlusterFS developers initially as getting the modules into linux kernel is a very long and difficult process.

Being a userspace filesystem, to interact with kernel VFS, GlusterFS makes use of FUSE (File System in Userspace). For a long time, implementation of a userspace filesystem was considered impossible. FUSE was developed as a solution for this. FUSE is a kernel module that support interaction between kernel VFS and non-privileged user applications and it has an API that can be accessed from userspace. Using this API, any type of filesystem can be written using almost any language you prefer as there are many bindings between FUSE and other languages. Read more