Testing F2FS With Its Multi-Drive Capabilities

Written by Michael Larabel in Storage on 25 April 2017 at 06:54 PM EDT. Page 1 of 3. 3 Comments.

Late last year F2FS picked up multiple device support for this Flash-Friendly File-System. This F2FS multi-drive capability isn't native RAID support like Btrfs but just allows a single F2FS file-system to span multiple devices. But it's more than that in that block allocation and the garbage collection policy is modified to boost I/O performance by taking advantage of the multiple SSD/flash devices.

If you are on a newer Linux kernel and also have f2fs-tools 1.8.0 (sadly, not in Ubuntu 17.04), you can make use of the F2FS multi-drive support. This current mode allows up to 7 additional devices to be added to the same F2FS volume. With the updated f2fs-tools, when running mkfs.f2fs you can simply use the "-c" switch and specify the different devices you wish to add to the volume.

With a Phoronix reader having recently mentioned he saw nice performance gains when making use of this feature, I decided to run some tests myself. On my Intel Core i7 6800K box with four 120GB Toshiba TR-150 SATA 3.0 SSDs in addition to the main Samsung 850 EVO 120GB SSD, I decided to run some tests. With F2FS on the Linux 4.11 kernel with f2fs-tools 1.8, I tested the F2FS performance with a single disk, two disks, three disks, and then four disks -- all of which were the TR-150 drives.

Setting up the big F2FS volume worked out fine and the total storage capacity was correctly reflected. Each time I ran a number of disk/file-system tests via the Phoronix Test Suite.

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