Filesystems (ext3, reiser, xfs, jfs) comparison

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There are a lot of Linux filesystems comparisons available but most of them are anecdotal, based on artificial tasks or completed under older kernels. This benchmark essay is based on 11 real-world tasks appropriate for a file server with older generation hardware (Pentium II/III, EIDE hard-drive).

I found two quantitative and reproductible benchmark testing studies using the 2.6.x kernel (see References). Benoit (2003) implemented 12 tests using large files (1+ Gb) on a Pentium II 500 server with 512 MB RAM. This test was quite informative but results are beginning to aged (kernel 2.6.0) and mostly applied to settings which manipulate exclusively large files (e.g., multimedia, scientific, databases).

Piszcz (2006) implemented 21 tasks simulating a variety of file operations on a PIII-500 with 768Mb RAM and a 400 Gb EIDE-133 hard disk. To date, this testing appears to be the most comprehensive work on the 2.6 kernel. However, since many tasks were "artificial" (e.g., copying and removing 10 000 empty directories, touching 10 000 files, splitting files recursively), it may be difficult to transfer some conclusions to real-world settings.

Thus, the objective of the present benchmark testing is to complete some Piszcz (2006) conclusions, by focusing exclusively on real-world operations found in small-business file servers (see Tasks description).

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