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Data Storage Software Linux

Btrfs Is Not Yet the Performance King 117

Ashmash writes "Benchmarks of the Btrfs filesystem have been published by Phoronix that compare it to the XFS, EXT3, and EXT4 file-systems. In the end they conclude that this next-generation Linux filesystem is not yet the performance king. In a great number of the tests, the EXT4 filesystem that was designed to be an interim step to Btrfs actually performs much better than the unstable Btrfs, albeit Btrfs still has more advanced features. Fedora 11 even took longer to boot when using Btrfs than EXT3 or EXT4."
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Btrfs Is Not Yet the Performance King

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  • by Cassini2 ( 956052 ) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @02:52PM (#27776853)

    btrfs has several features that help prevent data loss, and in particular silent corruption of data on the disk. It is also handy to be able to take snapshots for backup purposes.

    Ext3 and Ext4 are faster because they omit some of these features. There was recently some heated debate about ext4 and data loss, see the Slashdot discussion [] for more links.

    With file systems, speed and data integrity are trade-offs.

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:13PM (#27777187) Homepage Journal

    With Btrfs still being unstable and slow, what is going to happen to it once Oracle completes it's purchase of Sun and gets ZFS and Solaris?

  • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:47PM (#27777641)
    Unfortunately, Sun had no plans on licensing ZFS so it could run on Linux. Will Oracle change it's mind? Probably not, hence the reason btrfs is reproducing features of ZFS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:57PM (#27777779)

    Yes, ZFS is a perfect example of a design that's perfect by its own definition of perfect. For (perfect) example, you can perfectly accidentally add an empty USB drive to a pool and you'll be perfectly unable to ever remove that device without doing a perfectly full mirror or backup.

    They've been promising to fix this any day now for years. I'll send you $50 when they do. I'll send you another $50 when I can use it on my Linux box.

    I think my money's perfectly safe.

  • by Anarke_Incarnate ( 733529 ) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:07PM (#27777897)
    I'm glad that you can assume a performance margin without knowing the workload or the application. Please, enlighten us with the performance of ZFS using Oracle or another database...Sure it can be fast, but please, in detail, explain the tunables that need to be set to achieve this performance and what kind of issues you may have with fsync and such, especially when dealing with SAN storage with external battery backed cache..... I am curious..... (and yet know the answers).
  • Re:format stability (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:45PM (#27778541)

    > What's the advantage of XFS over ext3?

    Well I can only speak for my own experience, and obviously yours may be different. But I've had better luck with XFS stability as well as handling of multi-gigabyte files and directories that contain many files. I was soured early on based on some bad experiences with both ext2 and ext3, went to XFS, and haven't had a problem since.

    For me deleting very large files is almost instantaneous on XFS, but drags on and on using ext3. I like XFS on my media server box but also use it on a desktop machine. It's also hugely scalable.

  • Re:format stability (Score:4, Informative)

    by pigeon768 ( 589860 ) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:58PM (#27778785)

    Extents and delayed allocation are the big ones, both of which are available in ext4, reiser4, and btrfs.

    Unfortunately, xfs is more likely to eat data in individual files than ext3 or ext4 w/ data=ordered. It's apparently less likely to end up with an uncorrectable superblock.

    xfs is also horrifically slow for random access of smaller files. If your application calls for massive files, such as databases or a porn library, xfs is preferable over reiserfs or ext3, comparable to ext4, but for general use you're better off with ext3/4 or reiserfs. (by reiserfs I mean 3.6, not reiser4. I can't speak for reiser4)

    It's important to remember that there is no one fs to rule them all. Any time anyone tells you "*fs is the best filesystem" they're suffering from fanboyism. xfs is probably not the ideal filesystem for / on a desktop system, but it's a great filesystem for a partition on a server running a database or a fileserver serving large files, or for a DVR application like mythtv.

  • by rackserverdeals ( 1503561 ) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @05:45PM (#27779497) Homepage Journal

    And what happens? Someone takes the features they need from a non-GPL program/filesystem/etc and creates a GPL version. Yea, great going there with using an incompatible license. Feel free to use a license incompatible with the GPL. Also feel free to whine when someone replaces the functionality of whatever you've written with a GPL version, which is then included in Linux distros or the kernel where huge amounts of users get access to it.

    How many years has it been since ZFS has been released and we still don't have a workable linux alternative.

    I don't think anyone is whining at Sun.

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