File storage is a storage architecture that uses the Network File System (NFS) protocol to manage data as files. Virtuozzo Hybrid Infrastructure allows you to organize nodes into a highly available NFS cluster in which you can create NFS shares. An NFS share is an access point for a volume and it can be assigned an IP address or a DNS name. The volume, in turn, can be assigned a redundancy scheme, a tier, and a failure domain. In each share, you can create multiple NFS exports that are actual exported directories for user data. Each export has, among other properties, a path that, combined with share’s IP address, uniquely identifies the export on the network and allows you to mount it using standard tools.
On the technical side, NFS volumes are based on object storage. Aside from offering high availability and scalability, object storage eliminates the limit on the amount of files and the size of data you can keep in the NFS cluster. Each share is perfect for keeping billions of files of any size. However, such scalability implies I/O overhead that is wasted on file size changes and rewrites. For this reason, an NFS cluster makes a perfect cold and warm file storage, but is not recommended for hot and high performance, and data that is often rewritten (like running virtual machines). Integration of Virtuozzo Hybrid Infrastructure with solutions from VMware, for example, is best done via iSCSI to achieve better performance.