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FS-Cache & CacheFS: Caching for Network File Systems

Jun 17, 2009, 16:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey B. Layton)

"If you have read about FS-Cache or CacheFS you can easily get confused by the terminology. FS-Cache is the interface between the file system and the cache, allowing the file system to be cache agnostic. CacheFS is the caching backend for FS-cache. CacheFS does the actual handling of data storage and retrieval (i.e. the caching mechanism) and uses a partition on a block device. There is also an alternative caching mechanism called CacheFiles that uses a directory in an existing file system. This architecture allows alternative caching mechanisms to be used with FS-Cache. The first implementation of CacheFS was developed by Sun in 1993 for the Solaris 2.3 operating system. After that, other versions soon appeared, notably for Irix in 1994.

"A number of years ago, some Linux kernel developers, notably Dave Howells and Steve Dickson, began to develop FS-Cache and CacheFS for Linux. In August 2004, Dave posted a set of patches to the Linux kernel mailing list for CacheFS. FS-Cache patches have been posted along with CacheFS. A good overview of CacheFS is an article on lwn.net. With the 2.6.30 kernel, CacheFS is included and is available for NFS and AFS."

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