[CentOS] Is ext4 safe for a production server?

Timo Schoeler timo.schoeler at riscworks.net
Tue Dec 8 10:08:22 UTC 2009


thus Christopher Chan spake:
> Ian Forde wrote:
>> On Dec 7, 2009, at 10:30 AM, Florin Andrei <florin at andrei.myip.org>  
>> wrote:
>>
>>> John R Pierce wrote:
>>>> I've always avoided XFS because A) it wsan't supported natively in  
>>>> RHEL
>>>> anyways, and B) I've heard far too many stories about catastrophic  
>>>> loss
>>>> problems and day long FSCK sessions after power failures [1] or what
>>>> have you
>>> I've both heard about and experienced first-hand data loss (pretty
>>> severe actually, some incidents pretty recent) with XFS after power
>>> failure. It used to be great for performance (not so great now that  
>>> Ext4
>>> is on the rise), but reliability was never its strong point. The  
>>> bias on
>>> this list is surprising and unjustified.
>> Given that I stated my experience with XFS, and my rationale for using  
>> it in *my* production environment, I take exception to your calling  
>> said experience unjustified.
>>
> 
> The thing is that none of you ever stated how XFS was used. With 
> hardware raid or software raid or lvm or memory disk...

Speaking for me (on Linux systems) on top of LVM on top of md. On IRIX 
as it was intended.

> Anyway, data loss issues today should come down to not setting up 
> properly. Like disabling barriers on disks that have their write cache 
> enabled.

That's exactly the point; maybe it is due to XFS coming from an 
enterprise-class OS (IRIX) to the open source community. On IRIX, there 
was a distinctive hardware platform on which IRIX and thusly XFS was run 
on. When XFS was ported to GNU/Linux, it not only had to deal with 
different LVM and RAID devices/mechanisms, but also with some hassles 
when being deployed on 32bit environments, for which it just wasn't 
designed.

So, to sum it up: IMHO it was surely in most cases not XFS's fault when 
data loss occured, but more due to errors that were made when being 
deployed (in GNU/Linux environments), be it 32bit issues, (missing) 
barriering or whatever.

It'd be interesting to see some statistics on XFS issues on IRIX vs 
GNU/Linux.

Regards,

Timo



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