Western Digital Continues Working On SMR / Zoned Device Support For Btrfs
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 9 June 2019 at 04:30 AM EDT. 20 Comments
LINUX STORAGE --
In addition to SUSE continuing to advance the Btrfs file-system, Western Digital has also been working on a big patch series around providing native support for zoned block devices.

The zoned block device support is for supporting newer shingled magnetic recording (SMR) drives with the ZBC/ZAC commands. These are newer hard drives offering much higher storage capacities (10TB+) than were previously achievable due to the recording technique. There have been device-managed zoned support for file-systems not natively supporting these newer standards as well as a dm-zoned target in the Device Mapper code to help out in those scenarios as well.

Western Digital engineers meanwhile have been working to contribute zoned block device support to the Btrfs file-system so it can work nicely on the latest and biggest WD HDDs.

Using this yet-to-be-merged functionality flips on the HMZONED backwards incompatible feature flag due to it fundamentally changing the operations and just for zoned devices.

Those interested in this functionality can learn more via this patch series now up to its second revision. We'll see if that's enough and the work manages to land in Linux 5.3 or will take more time before being ready for the mainline kernel.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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