Oracle Talks Up Recent Features For XFS + Some File-System Improvements On The Horizon

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 16 December 2019 at 12:02 AM EST. 20 Comments
Oracle's had quite the file-system history and looking ahead to 2020 they appear committed to the XFS boat on the Linux front. Oracle retains control over the upstream ZFS file-system and could push for better Linux integration of that file-system plus they formerly employed Btrfs creator Chris Mason during its infancy. But they also employ lead XFS maintainer Darrick Wong and in keeping in-line with Red Hat Enterprise Linux defaults embrace that as their primary file-system for Oracle Linux.

On the Oracle Linux blog they published a guest post this weekend by Darrick Wong who also works on the Oracle Linux kernel beyond the upstream XFS maintenance. He shared some of the items accomplished this year for the XFS file-system:

- Lazy timestamp updates using the lazytime mount option as to avoid updating the modification timestamp on recently updated files. The lazy timestamp functionality paired with the relatime option can lead to much lower metadata writes.

- Support for changing the file-system label while mounted.

- With the new Linux 5.4 yields much less time spent by XFS looking for free space in a directory on file creation. This in particular helps the performance for very large directories.

- Support for a metadata directory tree to allow for greatly expanded metadata structures for use-cases like reverse mapping and data block sharing for real-time volumes.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the next calendar year (2020) some of the XFS items on the horizon include:

- Extending the XFS metadata to support timestamps out to the year 2486 by making use of 64-bit counters to address the Year 2038 problem. Existing XFS v5 file0systems should be able to upgrade to the new metadata.

- Deferred inode reclamation should become faster and deletes should also be sped up.

- Inode parent pointer functionality.

More details on the Oracle Linux Blog for the latest XFS development activities.
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