[CentOS] Is ext4 safe for a production server?

Brian Mathis brian.mathis at gmail.com
Sun Dec 6 03:47:08 UTC 2009

On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM, Miguel Medalha <miguelmedalha at sapo.pt> wrote:
> I am about to install a new server running CentOS 5.4. The server will
> contain pretty critical data that we can't afford to corrupt.
> I would like to benefit from the extra speed and features of a ext4
> filesystem but I don't have any experience with it.
> Is there some member of the list who can enlighten me on whether ext4 is
> mature enough to be used on a production server without too much risk?
> Thank you!

Regardless of the technical issues offered here, ask yourself this: Do
you really want to be experimenting with a new file system on a
production server with "pretty critical data"?  Since you asked about
"too much risk", I think you already answered the question.

Any sane process would involve installing it on a low priority test
server, running for a while to see how it goes, and learning about new
features or tools.  After you've done that on a few lower priority
servers, for maybe a year or so, then you might start to _think_ about
using it on a production server like this.

My guess is that any additional speed can come from tuning other areas
of your server and disk subsystem.  What hardware do you have?  What
kind of disks?  Using RAID?  What level?  Have you looked into
aligning your partitions with the RAID blocks?  I'm sure that some of
the hardcore disk I/O people on the list can ask better questions and
give more meaningful recommendations.

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