3.13 Planning the Virtual Machines and VM Host Servers

Use the information in the following sections to identify the resources that your VM host servers must have to support your Filr deployment.

3.13.1 Host Server Platforms Supported

Filr runs on VMware, Xen, and Hyper-V virtualization host platforms. For specific version and other requirements, see Filr Server Requirements in the Novell Filr 1.1 Installation and Configuration Guide.

3.13.2 Appliance Types and Roles

This section is included only as background information. No planning steps are included.

The appliances in a large Filr deployment perform three distinct roles that are essential to delivering Filr services.

Table 3-1 Appliance Role Summary



Filr Search

MySQL (if needed)


  • File access and sharing

  • Content indexing for searching purposes

  • Database storage retrieval of file metadata, system configuration, and user/group identities

Number Required


  • At least one Filr Search appliance

  • Access to a MySQL or MS SQL database

  • None

  • None


  • Run a number of web-based services that are responsible for Filr client and web client (browser) interaction with the rest of the system.

  • Synchronize Net Folders.

  • When indexing applies, extract indexable content from synchronized files and send it to the Filr Search appliance to be indexed.

  • Accept information to be indexed

  • Respond to user-initiated search requests from Filr Appliances

Store and provide access to the following:

  • Configuration settings for all of the Filr cluster appliances

  • Information on the users and files within the system

Best Practices


Configure /vashare to point to a remote NFS or CIFS disk that all Filr appliances share in common.

Strongly recommended:

Deploy three Filr appliances: two to provide high availability and one devoted to Net Folder Synchronization and content indexing (if applicable).

Strongly recommended: Deploy two Filr Search appliances to provide fault tolerance and eliminate a single point of failure for Filr and the Filr desktop clients.

Recommended: Consult with a qualified database administrator and use a high-availability in-house MySQL or MS SQL installation whenever possible.

For more information, see Filr Applications and Appliances in the Novell Filr 1.1 Installation and Configuration Guide.

3.13.3 Ensuring Fault Tolerance

The following sections are included only as background information. No planning steps are included in them.

Filr Performance and High-Availability

Novell recommends having at least two Filr servers in a large, expandable deployment for basic performance and high-availability. You can add more as your deployment grows through your initial pilot to a phased-in production rollout.

Determine whether a hardware solution (such as an application delivery controller or L4 switch) or a software solution (such as NetIQ Access Manager, Apache, and so forth) will be used to front the Filr servers.

Novell also recommends connecting a third Filr Appliance to the shared storage and not fronting it with a load balancer. This appliance can then be used for dedicated administration and file synchronization purposes.

Filr Search Redundancy

Having functional search appliances and the services they provide is vital to the health of the system.

Novell recommends having two Search/Index servers for redundancy (fault tolerance) purposes. Having more than two is not recommended or needed, because there are no performance gains associated with multiple Filr Search appliances.

By using two Search Appliances, you can re-index the appliances at separate times, thus preventing the clients from re-downloading all their data. For instructions, see Rebuilding the Search Index with Multiple Index Servers in the Novell Filr 1.1 Administration Guide.

3.13.4 Appliance System Resource Requirements

Refer to the information in this section as you plan for the components that your Filr deployment will require in Section 3.14, Planning Filr Deployment Components.

Appliance Disk Storage Summary

Table 3-2 summarizes the different appliance storage locations in a large, Filr-clustered deployment.

Table 3-2 Appliance Storage

Boot Partition (Hard Disk 1)

VM Hard Disk 2

VM Hard Disk 3

Remote CIFS- or NFS-based Storage (Filr Only)

Mount Point: /

Mount Point: /vastorage

Mount Point: /var

Mount Point: /vashare

Recommended Size: Varies by appliance type. See Filr Storage Requirements in the Novell Filr 1.1 Installation and Configuration Guide.

Required on: Filr, Filr Search, and MySQL appliances

Required on: Filr, Filr Search, and MySQL appliances

Required on: Filr, Filr Search, and MySQL appliances

Required on: Filr appliances in large, expandable (clustered) deployments

Purpose: Stores the following:

  • All of the binary, configuration, and other files required for the operating system to run appliance services

Purpose: Stores the following:

  • Configuration files that are used for appliance upgrades

  • Ganglia files that are used to store monitoring information

Purpose: Stores log files.

Purpose: Stores the following:

  • Personal Storage files in My Files

  • Temporary files

  • Cached HTML renderings that vary in size, depending on the type of file being rendered.

  • Indexed content

Best Practices:

  • Disk size is set; requires no adjustment.

Best Practices:

Best Practices:

Best Practices:

Shared Storage Deployment Best Practices and Caveats

  • Carefully follow the disk space planning requirements for each appliance type as detailed in Filr Storage Requirements in the Novell Filr 1.1 Installation and Configuration Guide.

  • Monitor and clean up the /vashare/cachefilestore area as needed.

    Cached files are automatically deleted on an appliance restart when they exceed 10 GB in size.

  • Windows NFS services are not supported.

  • The NFS or CIFS server should be on or near the same subnet as the Filr deployment. Filr is not latency tolerant.

  • When exporting the remote NFS directory, you must specify the rw and no_root_squash export options.

  • To secure NFS server access, as you specify the export options for the exported directory, ensure that you create a DNS entry for each Filr appliance that needs access.

    Otherwise, any NFS client on the network will be able to mount the exported directory.

Appliance RAM Requirements

  • Filr Appliance: 8 GB of memory and 4 CPUs. At least half of the memory should be dedicated to the Java heap.

  • Database Appliance: 4 GB of memory and 2 CPUs.

  • Search Index Appliance: 8 GB of memory and 2 CPUs. About 66 percent of the memory should be dedicated to the Java heap.

3.13.5 Planning Filr Database Support

The MySQL appliance is delivered to support the Filr system when an alternate SQL database server isn’t available.

Filr supports the following database servers:

  • MySQL 5.0.96 and later

  • Microsoft SQL 2008 R2, 2012, and 2014

If you have a MySQL or MS SQL installation, Novell recommends that you leverage that resource and take advantage of your existing infrastructure.

In an enterprise environment, it is important to ensure that the Filr appliances’ shared storage (the /vashare mount point) is protected by traditional clustering to provide for high availability.

The MySQL or MS SQL server and database that Filr appliances access must also be protected for high availability.