choosing a file system

Vincent Fox vbfox at
Thu Jan 8 11:01:04 EST 2009

(Summary of filesystem discussion)

You left out ZFS.

Sometimes Linux admins remind me of Windows admins.

I have adminned a half-dozen UNIX variants professionally but
keep running into admins who only do ONE and for whom every
problem is solved with "how can I do this with one OS only?"

I admin numerous Linux systems in our data center (Perdition proxy
in front of Cyrus for one)  but frankly you want me to go back into 
Dark Ages now for terabytes of mail volume I'd throw a professional fit.
Even the idea that I need to tune my filesystem for inodes and to avoid it
wanting to fsck on reboot #20 or whatever seems like caveman discussion.
Any of them offer cheap and nearly-instant snapshots & online scrubbing?
No?  Then why use it for large number of files of important nature?

I love Linux, I surely do.  Virtually everything of an appliance nature here
will probably shift over to it in the long run I think and for good reasons.
But filesystem is one area where the bazaar model has fallen into a very
deep rut and can't muster energy to climb out.

So far ZFS ticking along with no problems and low iostat numbers
with everything in one big pool.  I have separate fs for data, imap, mail
but haven't seen any need to carve mail spool into chunks at all.
There were initial problems noted here in the mailing lists way back
in Solaris 10u3 but that was solved with the fsync patch and since then
it's been like butter.  Mail-store systems nobody ever needs to look
at them because it "just works".

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