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Benchmarks Of ZFS-FUSE On Linux Against EXT4, Btrfs

Michael Larabel

Published on 30 August 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 5 of 5 - 63 Comments

As some Phoronix Premium members have requested CPU usage results during file-system tests, there are some included in this article.

As shown above, the CPU utilization for the Intel Core i7 was actually higher than that when ZFS-FUSE on Linux was being used or when OpenSolaris was being run with its native ZFS implementation.

While the CPU load was lower when using ZFS-FUSE during the PostMark benchmark, the difference was only a few percent. When running Apache, the CPU usage spiked dramatically and was much higher than that of the native Linux file-systems that were tested to the point that it was almost three times greater.

There is certainly a performance penalty incurred when using ZFS-FUSE on Linux, which may or may not be justified depending upon whether you take advantage of any other features found in the Oracle/Sun ZFS file-system. Even with the very latest Linux 2.6.36 kernel and both the latest stable and unstable releases of the ZFS-FUSE code-base, a significant drop in performance can be measured when running ZFS in user-space. It will be interesting though to see how the native ZFS Linux module from either the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or KQ Infotech performs compared to ZFS-FUSE. Even the native ZFS module on OpenSolaris was no match to Linux and EXT4/Btrfs, so our next set of native ZFS Linux results should be rather interesting. It could be argued that those OpenSolaris-compatible test profiles just so happened to be bottlenecked elsewhere in the Solaris Nevada kernel, but even ZFS on FreeBSD is slow when compared to the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems. These next ZFS on Linux results will be available in September if the native ZFS beta code arrives prior to the annual Oktoberfest outing -- stay tuned for this year's Phoronix gathering details.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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