How to Boot your Applications with no Physical or Network Storage! Great for Route Servers and Hypervisors...


When you strip back a computer, there are 4 main components that are necessary: RAM, CPU, Hard Disk and Power Supply. Just by using these components, a server can be built. These types of servers are used for storage area networks, where there are hundreds of hard disks all for storage.

The difference between the regular and diskless servers is the presence of that hard disk component. A diskless server has many benefits over one with a hard disk:

1) It is easier to deploy a network, by using machine images to save time on installation

2) All your servers are standardised and congruent.

3) A masked image is one image that needs to be maintained, and when the server reboots, that is the image that will be used.

The server is still able to store data by utilising the installed RAM, meaning processing this data and program deployment is almost instantaneous. Combined with the time saved by using a machine image, running a server has never been faster!  

There are many ways a Diskless Server can be utilised for different applications, such as Proxmox and Diskless Routers.

 

Application of a Diskless Router

A Diskless Router is a Virtual Machine (VM) that is deployed on a diskless server, meaning that no physical router is required to operate servers. openQRM will still monitor and operate it as if the Diskless Router was physical hardware.


Overview of using a Diskless Router

 

» This is the hardware configuration tab, it displays information about the installed hardware/peripherals.

» Note that below the actual hardware, there are Network Devices listed, representing the many interfaces of the Diskless Router.

» This uses Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), taking the network node functions and virtualising them into building blocks for creating communication services.

Diskless Router 3
Diskless Router 2

» No attached physical or network storage is present

» You'll note the root files system is 2gb RAM-based temporary file system which is loaded from a network image.

» You'll also note that this is a virtual machine with a total of 4 GB. Where 2 GB is used for the file system.

» When the server is booted, the server-specific configuration is downloaded. Periodical server configuration backups can be performed. When the server is shut down,  a server configuration backup is also performed. 

» Most Linux distributions can be converted to a tmpfs deployment. prefered distributions Centos and Debian-based operating systems.

 
 
 

» This is the summary screen on the openQRM software. It gives the operator quick access to the most important monitoring data. This example shows the performance of a diskless server that has an uptime of 2 years.

 

»Note: the Disk IO stat, as you can see, it reads no activity. That is because Disk IO measures the read and write activity of a hard disk, but in the case of a diskless server, there are no hard disks installed. And even without it, the diskless server is performing as well as one with a hard disk. 

 

» openQRM utilities the TMPFS plugin to execute diskless servers, and it is included in the openQRM Enterprise licence.

 

 Diskless Router 4