Ryussi – Or Why Another SMB Stack Is Handy

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 12.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.



Here are some notes from Ryussi‘s presentation at Storage Field Day 12. You can view the video here and download my rough notes here.


Musambi? Yeah, MoSMB

Ryussi Technologies are based in Bangalore, India. Ryussi’s MoSMB (“SMB with Mojo”) is an SMB3 stack. MoSMB rhymes with musambi. According to Ryussi, it offers a flexible, advanced, enterprise class feature set, including:

  • Lightweight, ANSI-C SMB 2/3 stack on Linux variants built from ground up;
  • Highly pluggable architecture with custom interfaces to integrate into diverse storage stacks quickly and efficiently;
  • Architected to support high performance, high scalability, and continuous availability;
  • Complete ecosystem support including multi-channel, SMB Direct, ODX, RVSS, active / passive and scale-out clustering and witness protocol;
  • Support for SMB clients on Windows, macOS and Linux; and
  • An enterprise class feature set to support common varied SMB use cases such as Microsoft Hyper-V and enterprise file serving.

Note that there is no support for SMB1 (this is a good thing).

Sunu Engineer (CTO) took us through some of the key features and architecture.

It provides:

  • Different types of storage layers;
  • Heterogenous support under the same SMB server (they’re working on plugging into storage spaces architecture as well);
  • Cluster Infrastructure Service with lightweight objects connecting to cluster service;
  • Ryussi’s own implementation of RPC server;
  • SMI-S providers, OpenStack drivers, etc; and
  • Full unicode support.


What Could I Use It For?

So what could I use this for? A bunch of stuff, really.

  • Hyper-V over SMB
  • Hyper-V based VDI
  • Continuously available SMB file server cluster
  • Application consistent Hyper-V backup solution using RVSS
  • Enterprise file server for SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange data
  • High speed secure printing
  • HDFS data storage for Hadoop workloads
  • NAS gateway to object storage


So Why Another SMB Stack?

The big point of this is that it “can be integrated into other storage stacks quickly and efficiently”. There are about 8000 storage startups in Silicon Valley at the moment, and all of their focus groups are telling them they want massively scalable, cloud-friendly storage systems that run Linux and deliver some advanced version of SMB (3.1.1). MoSMB claim to have developed a product that will get you some of the way towards achieving that goal. So why not just use Samba? Some folks don’t dig the licensing terms when putting open source in their commercial products. But aren’t there other implementations already available? Sure, but the terms of these agreements may not be exciting for some folk.

Of course, some might argue that Ryussi are doing this in the hopes of getting acquired by some OEM somewhere. But I don’t think that’s really the play here. My impression from the presentation is that they’re building something because they want a really useful product, and they’re keen to solve some problems that exist around SMB and performance and scalability. In any case, I think what they’re doing is kind of cool, and certainly worth checking out, if for no other reason than it’s not something you’d be looking at every day. Unless you code storage protocols, in which case you’re already way ahead of me. They also did a nice series on the architecture that you can read here, here and here. My fellow delegate Chin-Fah also did a nice write-up that you can find here.