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ZFS vs. EXT4 On Linux Multi-Disk RAID Benchmarks

Hardware

Published on 25 April 2013 01:18 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware
27 Comments

When dealing with multi-disk configurations and RAID, the ZFS file-system on Linux can begin to outperform EXT4 at least in some configurations.

Earlier this month I delivered some EXT4 vs. ZFS file-system benchmarks using the new ZFS On Linux release that is a native Linux kernel module implementing the Sun/Oracle file-system. Testing was done from a single disk configuration due to the available hardware within our labs and among Phoronix readers single disk configurations being most common.

A Phoronix reader wishing to show ZFS beating out EXT4 on Linux conducted his own tests from an IBM server system with Intel Xeon E3-1230 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a total of 22 disks. He was running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel and tested EXT4 and ZFS.

Disk test configurations were ZFS with RaidZ in a JBOD configuration, ZFS in RAID 10, ZFS in a mirrored JBOD array, EXT4 with LVM in an MDRAID5 JBOD configuration, RAID with LVM in a mirrored mode, and then EXT4 with a hardware-based RAID5 array. With this testing, the ZFS On Linux configuration shined over EXT4.

Benchmark results in full for this high-end multi-disk configuration can be found on OpenBenchmarking.org. There's also this forum thread about the ZFS vs. EXT4 RAID independent testing and other 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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