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This is purely theoretical idea, i dont plan on doing this any time soon, but could you use Local hard drives as a kind of Cache to remote drives stored on Amazon EC2, shared to a user via iSCSI?

The idea i think is as follows:

  • ZFS locally can use SSDs as a Read and Write cache
  • mount a couple of "drives" as iSCSI, and add them to the ZFS pool as storage
  • use a couple of local hard drives as read and write cache for the pool...

Now, i know you would need a fairly massive pipe between the Amazon data center and your office/house, but with the advent of Direct Connect, it could be plausable to get a 1 or 10Gb pipe to Amazon... But my question, could a remote iSCSI LUN be used in a ZFS pool, and would this work?

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Why did someone down vote this? OK, so I don't have the bandwidth to use this every day or currently, but I could see this being a very handy feature, especially if you could get your EC2 drives backed up regularly... – TiernanO Jan 20 '12 at 11:23

Ok, not sure what OS this is using, but Amazon have just announced AWS Storage Gateway which does something simular to what i am thinking above...

  • it creates a Virtual Machine on your network, which creates iSCSI volumes.
  • it uses local storage for a "cache"
  • it writes data back to S3 for snapshots and for backup...

Interesting idea, not free though. but should be interesting...

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Current pricing on the gateway is $125/month base + storage charges - that's expensive for small volume stuff. – James Moore Sep 15 '12 at 17:13

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