[Samba] Which filesystem to increase Samba performances ?

Dragan Krnic dkrnic at lycos.com
Tue Jan 14 14:39:09 GMT 2003

>> hello,
>> i'm a new suscriber of this mailing-list, hoping i'll be
>> able to help u. But before i've a question. I've to mount
>> a huge file server using Samba. We bought a new server,
>> using raid 5 technology.
>> My question is, now i've to install on it my favorite
>> operating system :) and i ask me which filesystem type
>> i've to use to increase Samba performances on it, some
>> people said me "xfs", others "ext3"... Which one do u
>> recommend me and why ?
>> hoping i've been clear with my question.

> SGI's XFS filesystem on RedHat 7.x has been a stable platform
> Performance with EXT3 was below that of XFS 1.1 in nearly
> every case, often by more than 15%. Tests were by no means
> If EXT3 had other redeeming qualities, I could have
> overlooked the performance issues, but it didn't: 
> -quotas: this is something we *need* and they work
>   nicely in XFS, but I had no success getting them
>   to work with EXT3 on Redhat 7.3
> -ACLs: this is another thing we *need*, and the
>  situation was very similar to quotas - I had no
>  luck getting them going.
> Keep in mind, all the above is very specific to our
> environment, where flexible security (ACLs), quotas,
> performance, and stability are all critically 
> important factors.

It's really a distro problem. With my SuSE 8.1 and the
latest kernel 2.4.19-155 ACLs, EAs, Quotas and everything
else works on all file systems that support it. But there
are enormous differences how much the addition of any of
these extensions affects the underlying file system. For
the exact same hierarchy (about 15,000 directories, 85,000
files, altogether about 90 GBs) the initial "quotacheck"
took 245 seconds for an ext3 and only 14 seconds for
reiserfs on the same hardware.

If you really want a fast system for samba, the only
logical choice is reiserfs, because it answers the
logorheic metadata queries from the SMB clients so much
faster than any other fs. There is only a advantage of
xfs over reiserfs in average reading/writing speeds to
very large files, but the difference is marginal.

Whereas large directories (up from about 100 entries,
or whatever can fit in a single fs block) tend to
progressively paralyze every other file system, it makes
only a logarithmic difference for reiserfs because it is
a consistent implementation of b-trees which only looks
like a hierarchical file system to an untrained eye.

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