Re: safe file systems

linux kernel account (
Thu, 25 Sep 1997 20:41:12 -0400 (EDT)

Som when do we make a ext2s or better: a ext2 mount flag.

On Thu, 25 Sep 1997, Ingo Molnar wrote:

> On Wed, 24 Sep 1997, Larry McVoy wrote:
> > : [write re-ording]
> > :
> > : I think even my cheapish SCSI disks (which have a 1 (maybe 2?) MB cache)
> > : will do this. I assume here a system reset will not affect them, but
> > : power-failure did last time I checked. (But you can twiddle with the tables
> > : on them and modify the way it writes data back, etc).
> >
> > The default on every SCSI & FC disk I've ever seen (and I've seen a
> > fair number including drives from HP, Seagate, Quantum, IBM, Maxstor,
> > and probably others I'm forgetting) is to /not/ do write caching. If
> > the drive says the write is done, it is done.
> yep, and database servers do rely on this. Most RDBMSs have an additional
> layer of protection, soft-checksumming, which detects half-written sectors
> ... but this is not against power failure, it's protection against media
> failure. Plus most current disks have built-in ECC which detects (on
> cheaper disks hides & redirects ...) media failure.
> if the only failure source is power interruption (or any other system
> interruption which doesnt damage the disk itself), most disks guarantee
> that they write sectors atomically [this behaviour is not specified, but
> present ;)]. They write out at least the last sector when they go down,
> and they autopark the head.
> Thus soft updates provide guaranteed filesystem metadata structure, no
> matter where the interruption happens. _With_ full usage of important SCSI
> features like tagged queueing and scatter-gather, disconnection. So a
> soft-update filesystem can be just as fast IO-wise, as a 'normal'
> filesystem. The difference is slightly higher kernel metadata management
> costs, but the fast path can be made almost as fast as for unprotected
> ext2fs.
> so it's not 'slow safe filesystem', but rather 'clever safe filesystem'.
> This approach is much more modern than JFS/LFS, eg. the physical layout of
> the filesystem is completely identical with the 'unprotected' filesystem,
> and thus IO speed isnt affected by 'safety management' costs.
> -- mingo