Exploring High Bandwidth Filesystems on Large Systems

In this paper we present the results of an investigation conducted by SGI into streaming filesystem throughput on the Altix platform with a high bandwidth disk subsystem.

We start by describing some of the background that led to this project and our goals for the project. Next, we describe the benchmark methodology and hardware used in the project. We follow this up with a set of baseline results and observations using XFS on a patched 2.6.5 kernel from a major distribution.

We then present the results obtained from XFS, JFS, Reiser3, Ext2, and Ext3 on a recent 2.6 kernel. We discuss the common issues that we found to adversely affect throughput and reproducibility and suggest methods to avoid these problems in the future.

Finally, we discuss improvements and optimisations that we have made and present the final results we achieved using XFS. From these results we reflect on the original goals of the project, what we have learnt from the project and what the future might hold.

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