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Metadata Performance of Four Linux File Systems

Sep 02, 2009, 16:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey B. Layton)

"The previous article made several observations about benchmarking, one of which is that storage and file system benchmarks seldom, if ever, explain why they are performing a benchmark. This is a point that is not to be underestimated. Specifically, if the reason why the benchmark was performed can not be adequately explained, then the benchmark itself becomes suspect (it may just be pure marketing material).

"Given this point, the reason the benchmark in this article is being performed is to examine or explore if, and possibly how much, difference there is between the metadata performance of four Linux file systems using a single metadata benchmark. The search is not to find which file system is the best because it is a single benchmark, fdtree. Rather it is to search for differences and contrast the metadata performance of the file systems.

"Why is examining the metadata performance a worthwhile exploration? Glad that you asked. There are a number of applications, workloads, and classes of applications that are metadata intensive. Mail servers can be very metadata intensive applications because of the need to read and write very small files. Sometimes databases have workloads that do a great deal of reading and writing small files. In the world of technical computing, many bioinformatic applications such as gene sequencing applications, do a great deal of small reads and writes."

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