Red Hat Has Been Working On New NVFS File-System

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 15 September 2020 at 02:55 PM EDT. 19 Comments
Yet another new file-system being worked on for the Linux/open-source world is NVFS and has been spearheaded by a Red Hat engineer.

NVFS aims to be a speedy file-system for persistent memory like Intel Optane DCPMM. NVFS is geared for use on DAX-based (direct access) devices and maps the entire device into a linear address space that bypasses the Linux kernel's block layer and buffer cache.

Previously there was the NOVA file-system for persistent memory but work on that out-of-tree effort ended last year. In the absence of another Linux file-system geared for high performance on persistent memory devices, Red Hat's Mikulas Patocka has been leading work on NVFS.

While geared for DAX-based devices, NVFS follows a similar design approach to EXT4 and good integration with Linux's VFS code. On persistent memory the NVFS file-system is performing very well and generally much better than EXT2/EXT4/XFS with/without DAX as well as the prior NOVA file-system.

More details on NVFS via the kernel mailing list. NVFS was sent out today under a "request for comments" flag in soliciting any early code review on the kernel driver while the user-space utilities are also available. This document talks more about the NVFS internals and design.
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