Open Source Software and Linux

Dec 10 2008   9:52PM GMT

Testing the ZFS filesystem with OpenSolaris, FreeBSD and Ubuntu

John Little Profile: Xjlittle

I recently ran across a test that Phoronix did comparing Ubuntu, OpenSolaris and FreeBSD. While the test covered many areas the one that got my attention was the performance of the ZFS filesystem compared to ext3 and UFS. You can see the test results here.

If you are looking for a high perfomance file system this is clearly the way to go. The tests were measured in operations per second. In every case the ZFS filesystem from OpenSolaris out performed the ext3 filesytem by significant numbers.

Here are some partial comments that I got from an article Ten Reasons to Format Your Filesystem

A 64-bit filesystem would meet today’s need, but estimate of the lifetime of a 64-bit filesystem is about 10 years. Extending to 128-bits gives ZFS an expected lifetime of 30 years (UFS, for comparison, is about 20 years old). So how much data can you squeeze into a 128-bit filesystem? 16 exabytes or 18 million terabytes. How many files can you cram into a ZFS filesystem? 200 million million

ZFS employs 256 bit checksums end-to-end to validate data stored under its protection. Most filesystems (and you know who you are) depend on the underlying hardware to detect corrupted data and then can only nag about it if they get such a message. Every block in a ZFS filesystem has a checksum associated with it. If ZFS detects a checksum mismatch on a raidz or mirrored filesystem, it will actively reconstruct the block from the available redundancy and go on about its job.

And from the OpenSolaris site:

ZFS provides built-in compression. In addition to reducing space usage by 2-3x, compression also reduces the amount of I/O by 2-3x. For this reason, enabling compression actually makes some workloads go faster.

There is much more to the ZFS file system that I can put here. If you are looking for a scalable high speed file system that has self checking and healing for corrupt files then the ZFS filesystem is worthy of your consideration.


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