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Old 12-05-2009, 02:20 PM
Miguel Medalha
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

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!
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:40 PM
Chan Chung Hang Christopher
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

Miguel Medalha 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?
>
>

Some people have encountered data loss issues on Ubuntu (quite some time
back and nothing reported recently) and ext4 support is not yet official
in Centos5/RHEL5.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Timo Schoeler
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

thus Chan Chung Hang Christopher spake:
> Miguel Medalha 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?
>>
>>
>
> Some people have encountered data loss issues on Ubuntu (quite some time
> back and nothing reported recently) and ext4 support is not yet official
> in Centos5/RHEL5.

Hi,

mentioned data loss issue was patched/a workaround applied [0], however,
this is not a real problem here since RHEL/CentOS does not support ext4
officially yet.

For enterprise environments my favorite FS is XFS, YMMV, though.

HTH,

Timo

[0] --
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Ext4-data-loss-explanations-and-workarounds-740671.html
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:27 PM
Miguel Medalha
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

> For enterprise environments my favorite FS is XFS, YMMV, though.
>

I also thought about using xfs, but I don't like the idea of it being
dependent of an external kernel module that is always lagging behind the
current kernel version.

RedHat made the very questionable decision of NOT including the xfs
module in the 32 bit flavor of RHEL 5.4...
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:37 PM
Timo Schoeler
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

thus Miguel Medalha spake:
>
>> For enterprise environments my favorite FS is XFS, YMMV, though.
>>
>
> I also thought about using xfs, but I don't like the idea of it being
> dependent of an external kernel module that is always lagging behind the
> current kernel version.

OTOH XFS never was 'invented here'...

> RedHat made the very questionable decision of NOT including the xfs
> module in the 32 bit flavor of RHEL 5.4...

Well, XFS was developed on IRIX, so it was back then a pure 64bit FS...

Timo
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Old 12-05-2009, 03:59 PM
Akemi Yagi
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 8:27 AM, Miguel Medalha <miguelmedalha@sapo.pt> wrote:
>
>> For enterprise environments my favorite FS is XFS, YMMV, though.

> I also thought about using xfs, but I don't like the idea of it being
> dependent of an external kernel module that is always lagging behind the
> current kernel version.

This is no longer true. The xfs kernel module offered by CentOS
became kABI-compatible sometime ago -- meaning it survives kernel
updates. And, as of CentOS 5.4, xfs is now enabled in the kernel, so
no need for any external kernel module. But yes, this is available for
x86_64 only.

Akemi
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:15 PM
Miguel Medalha
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

> (...) The xfs kernel module offered by CentOS
> became kABI-compatible sometime ago -- meaning it survives kernel
> updates.

That is a clear improvement over the previous situation. I did suspect
it but was not sure about it. Thank you for the information. I will do
some tests with xfs, then.

> And, as of CentOS 5.4, xfs is now enabled in the kernel, so
> no need for any external kernel module. But yes, this is available for
> x86_64 only

... a decision that many people have trouble at understanding!
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:46 PM
Akemi Yagi
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 9:15 AM, Miguel Medalha <miguelmedalha@sapo.pt> wrote:

>> And, as of CentOS 5.4, xfs is now enabled in the kernel, so
>> no need for any external kernel module. But yes, this is available for
>> x86_64 only
>
> ... a decision that many people have trouble at understanding!

I asked Eric Sandeen of RH about the 64-bit only support. Here is what he said:

"xfs is targeted for big filesystems; 32-bit can't go over 16T anyway"
"plus there's that 4k stack issue which can be a problem in some configurations"

Akemi
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:51 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

Miguel Medalha wrote:
>> (...) The xfs kernel module offered by CentOS
>> became kABI-compatible sometime ago -- meaning it survives kernel
>> updates.
>
> That is a clear improvement over the previous situation. I did suspect
> it but was not sure about it. Thank you for the information. I will do
> some tests with xfs, then.
>
>> And, as of CentOS 5.4, xfs is now enabled in the kernel, so
>> no need for any external kernel module. But yes, this is available for
>> x86_64 only
>
> ... a decision that many people have trouble at understanding!

It seems like a logical choice, given that xfs tends to crash with the 4k stacks
in the 32 bit kernel especially when layered with lvm/md/nfs.

--
Les Mikesell
lesmikesell@gmail.com


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Old 12-05-2009, 05:48 PM
John R Pierce
 
Default Is ext4 safe for a production server?

Timo Schoeler wrote:
> For enterprise environments my favorite FS is XFS, YMMV, though.
>

I've always avoided XFS because A) it wsan't supported natively in RHEL
anyways, and B) I've heard far too many stories about catastrophic loss
problems and day long FSCK sessions after power failures [1] or what
have you

is B) no longer an issue?

I wanna know how come JFS/JFS2 (originally from IBM) isn't more popular
in the linux world? At least as implemented in AIX, its rock stable,
journaling, excellent performance, and handles both huge files and lots
of tiny files without blinking. jfs2 handles really huge file systems,
too. I really like how, in AIX, the VM and FS tools are coordinated, so
expanding and reorganizing file systems is trivial, nearly as simple as
Sun's ZFS.


[1] replace power failure with unexpected ups event if you prefer.


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