Btrfs RAID HDD Testing On Ubuntu Linux 14.10

Written by Michael Larabel in Storage on 22 October 2014 at 11:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 13 Comments.

With the Btrfs file-system continuing to stabilize while still adding more functionality and is generating continued interest from more Linux distributions and other open-source projects, I've found it time to run some fresh Btrfs RAID benchmarks to see how the next-generation Linux file-system is performing with its built-in RAID handling.

The Btrfs file-system offers built-in support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10 (1+0) modes though the support for RAID 5/6 is still considered most experimental. Besides RAID, a single Btrfs file-system can span multiple devices to yield a larger file-system. In this basic Btrfs RAID benchmarking from Ubuntu 14.10, I used two identical hard drives and tested Btrfs without RAID and then in RAID 0 and RAID 1 modes. For a separate article I'm also working on a RAID 0/1/5/6/10 comparison using for solid-state drives, which should be much more interesting, so just take this article as an introduction.

Setting up Btrfs across multiple HDDs/SSDs with RAID is incredibly easy -- assuming you're on a recent kernel and new enough version of btrfs-tools for best support. For those wanting to setup a Btrfs RAID array, see the Btrfs Wiki for using the file-system on multiple devices. As always, the Arch Wiki is also useful. For those unfamiliar with the standard RAID levels, there's a great overview via Wikipedia.

For this benchmarking the RAID levels were setup for both the data and meta-data via Btrfs tools. All other file-system settings and mount options were at their defaults from Ubuntu 14.10 with the Linux 3.16 kernel.

The identical hard drives I had for this Btrfs RAID Linux 3.16 benchmarking were Samsung HD253GJ (Spinpoint F3 ST250DM001) that are Serial ATA 2.0 hard drives that spin at 7200RPM and have a 16MB cache. Again, solid-state drive RAID benchmarks will be coming in another Phoronix article shortly along with some other Btrfs RAID tests; your feedback is appreciated and if you enjoy seeing these articles on Phoronix please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or providing a PayPal tip. With enough interest and support there might be comparisons against other Linux file-systems with traditional RAID setups, etc.

Btrfs RAID Testing

All of the disk benchmarks for this Btrfs benchmarking were done through the open-source and fully-automated Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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