opinion on XFS

Roger L. Smith roger at ERC.MsState.Edu
Wed May 8 07:22:40 PDT 2002

On Tue, 7 May 2002, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> On Tue, 7 May 2002, Roger L. Smith wrote:
> > On Tue, 7 May 2002, Yudong Tian wrote:
> > We run XFS on the head node of our cluster on both the system partition as
> > well as on a striped data partition.  I switched to XFS on it when my
> > users were able to scramble the ext2 filesystem on the data
> > partition almost daily.  At the time, the only answer was Reiserfs or XFS,
> > and since I couldn't (easily) make Reiser the root filesystem, and since I
> > had a lot of experience with XFS under IRIX, I decided to go with XFS.
> I'm curious, how did users scramble the ext2 filesystem, and are you
> certain that it was a weakness in the filesystem that was responsible
> rather than the malfunctioning of some other kernel or system component
> that was expressed as a filesystem corruption (a bad disk or controller,
> for example)?

I'm pretty confident of the fact that it was ext2.  We were running RedHat
7.0 (or 7.1, I don't remember which) at the time.  We started having very
serious file corruption issues with the data partition on the head node
when the cluster was running under heavy loads  (we had 324 processors at
the time, running MPI jobs under nearly 100% utilization).

I reinstalled the head node using XFS for its filesystems.  I tried to
keep the new software installation identical to the previous one other
than for the XFS support.  The hardware did not change.  The file
corruptions ceased.

When we first went to XFS, we had occasional (i.e., once per month or
less) crashes on the head node due to null pointer references, but the
next XFS update seemed to correct that, and I haven't had a crash of the
head node for any reason in so long that I don't remember when it last

| Roger L. Smith                        Phone: 662-325-3625               |
| Systems Administrator                 FAX:   662-325-7692               |
| roger at ERC.MsState.Edu                 http://WWW.ERC.MsState.Edu/~roger |
|                       Mississippi State University                      |
|_______________________Engineering Research Center_______________________|

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