Evgeniy Polyakov, listed as the connector and w1 subsystem maintainer, announced the first release of his distributed storage subsystem, "which allows [you] to form storage on top of remote and local nodes, which in turn can be exported to another storage as a node to form tree-like storages." He describes the features of this new block device: "zero additional allocations in the common fast path not counting network allocations; zero-copy sending if supported by device using sendpage(); ability to use any implemented algorithm (linear algo implemented); pluggable mapping algorithms; failover recovery in case of broken link; ability to suspend remote node for maintenance without breaking dataflow to another nodes (if supported by algorithm and block layer) and without turning down main node; initial autoconfiguration (ability to request remote node size and use that dynamic data during array setup time); non-blocking network data processing; support for any kind of network media (not limited to tcp or inet protocols); no need for any special tools for data processing (like special userspace applications) except for configuration; userspace and kernelspace targets."
In his blog, Evgeniy noted a similarity to the recently discussed DRBD. In the recent announcement he compares his solution to iSCSI and NBD noting the following advantages: "non-blocking processing without busy loops; small, pluggable architecture; failover recovery (reconnect to remote target); autoconfiguration; no additional allocations; very simple; works with different network protocols; and storage can be formed on top of remote nodes and be exported simultaneously".
Lars Ellenberg started an effort to get DRBD, the Distributed Replicated Block Device merged into the Linux kernel. When asked for clarification as to what it was, Lars explained, "think of it as RAID1 over TCP. Typically you have one Node in Primary, the other as Secondary, replication target only. But you can also have both Active, for use with a cluster file system." Earlier in the thread he described it as "a stacked block device driver".
Much of the initial review focused on the need to comply with kernel coding style guidelines. Kyle Moffett offered a much lengthier review, noting at one point in the code, "how about fixing this to actually use proper workqueues or something instead of this open-coded mess?" Lars replied, "unlikely to happen 'right now'. But it is on our todo list..." Jens Axboe added, "but stuff like that is definitely a merge show stopper, jfyi".