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Employee Employee

Real life comparison of XFS and EXT3 file systems

To give a bit historic background - XFS was introduced in R80.20. The caveat was that if you were doing upgrades from R80.10 or earlier version using CPUSE, it would keep existing EXT3 file system and you would miss out on apparently faster XFS. The only way to change the file system to XFS would be by full fresh install from external disk, which for many of us meant a hard choice of being forced to rely on CPUSE upgrade and keeping EXT3 as boxes were in remote locations and cost of the travel and time of full box reinstall was too high.

I had a bit of lab time today and decided to test the difference between two file systems as we have many 5900 clusters that were introduced back in 2017 with R80.10 onboard = EXT3 file system. As mentioned above, we decided to perform upgrades to R80.30 and R80.40 using CPUSE, thus keeping original file system.

And the main reason for the test actually was the fact that snapshot creation on EXT3 boxes puts insane strain on CPU usage - they almost become unmanageable with multiple CPU cores running zero CPU idle time.

Results actually exceeded my expectations. In case you wanted to know 🙂

Snapshot creation 3 mins Minimal CPU impact 15 mins System becomes nearly unusable
HFA install 17 mins   21 mins Fair impact on CPU
Reboot time 4 mins   6 mins  
Write speed large file 100MB/s   27MB/s  
Write speed small files 0.6-1.6GB/s Varied a lot! 0.9GB/s Fairly consistent


Just to add if you wanted to know how to check it:


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