OrangeFS Picks Up Kernel-Side Caching

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 1 August 2016 at 06:50 PM EDT. Add A Comment
Introduced in the Linux 4.6 kernel was the OrangeFS file-system while for the upcoming Linux 4.8 kernel it's picking up a new feature.

First of all, for those unfamiliar with OrangeFS, it's been a file-system in development for almost two decades while only this year was mainlined in the Linux kernel. OrangeFS is designed for large storage catering to HPC, big data, and similar use-cases. OrangeFS allows distributing data easily amongst multiple file servers and supports multiple clients.

With OrangeFS in Linux 4.8 there is initial support for kernel-side caching. OrangeFS previously had user-side client caching while now there is kernel-side caching by making use of DCache.

The pull request of OrangeFS updates for Linux 4.8 explains, "We see a modest performance increase on small file operations. For example, without the cache, compiling coreutils takes about 17 minutes. With the patch and a 50 millisecond timeout for dcache_timeout_msecs and getattr_timeout_msecs (the default), compiling coreutils takes about 6 minutes 20 seconds. On the same hardware, compiling coreutils on an xfs filesystem takes 90 seconds. We see similar improvements with mdtest and a test involving writing, reading, and deleting a large number of small files."
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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