[Samba] Is it possible to use Samba as a proxy and cache for a slow CIFS drive ?

Martin Gilly mg at metamagix.net
Fri Mar 25 07:11:12 MDT 2011

Hi all,

we have special scenario with a slow file share where Samba (maybe combined with other tools) could help by acting like as a CIFS proxy and caching system:

We're testing an Alfresco ECM System which has a CIFS subsystem (based on jLAN) that is simply to slow for our needs. In this setup the appserver Alfresco (SUSE on vmwars ESXi) and the clients are on a local LAN with Gb Ethernet (some clients on WLAN) connectivity and the clients (Windows and Mac) access Alfresco via the CIFS share provided by ALfresco. 

The Alfresco server is (due to it overhead (talking to the DB, indexing, etc.)) about six times slower when storing or reading files than a Samba mount on the same machine or a NAS on the same network.

Now my idea is to put a caching layer in the middle between Alfresco and the client that ...
* ... transparently sits in the middle between ALfresco and the clients
* ... caches read files and (on subsequent access) serves them directly instead of from the repository
* ... caches write operations in a store-and-forward manner like a write back cache (ie. signals OK to the client when the file is received locally and than writes back to Alfresco asynronously)

So far, I've been discussing this with some WAFS vendors, but the ones I came to know don't have anything in their toolbox to acheive this. Now I'm completely stuck in finding a way to speed this up :-/ 

Maybe anybody can think of a way that Samba - maybe in combination with some other tools - can create a solution for this problem ?

thx and kind regards, 


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