[CentOS] Largish filesystems [was Re: XFS install issue]

Filipe Brandenburger filbranden at gmail.com
Mon Jun 2 12:38:41 UTC 2008

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 8:18 AM, Bent Terp <bent at nagstrup.dk> wrote:
> Interesting, I thought that XFS was fairly safe for use. What would
> you recommend for filesystems in the 50-500 terabyte range?

I would recommend you split it in several smaller (2-4TB) filesystems.
Most applications would support this, and with some clever tactics you
might overcome this in applications that do not support it directly.

Disadvantages of using one huge filesystem (independent of filesystem type):
- If it breaks, you lose *ALL* your data.
- If you need to check the filesystem (fsck), it will take ages.
- You cannot easily scale horizontally by moving some of the data to a
second machine.
- It's much harder to tell what is causing performance problems.

I never had any filesystem over 5TB in my life (and I've managed more
than 100TB at one site), and these days my "sanity" limit is around
1TB per filesystem.

I'm currently using XFS in production (we have some SuSE machines just
for the support of it), but I've had so many problems that would have
been avoided if we weren't using XFS, that I'm seriously considering
migrating them all to ext3. (Bonus points for getting rid of that SuSE
trash and replacing them with some shiny CentOS 5 machines.)


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