Filesystem requirement for required system

The understanding of File systems is important if we want to move to enterprise/business level. However the concept of file system is evolving as the technology of hardware changes and so with the algorithms of data storage. The major article for file system can be found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system

As local body is currently evolving to incorporate server system, it is best we understand some basic terminologies:

  1. NFS (Not NTFS) Network File System: It is used for handling files in the network to mimick the way to local storage. It is supported by Unix (Solaris, AIX and HP-UX) and Unix-like Operating systems (Linux and FreeBSD). Alternative protocols used for remote file access include Server Message Block(SMB, or CIFS), Apple Filing Protocol(AFP), Netware Core Protocol (NCP) etc. SMB and NCP occur more commonly than NFS on systems running Microsoft Windows while AFP occurs more commonly than NFS in Macintosh systems.
  2. Implementation of NFS

    Assume Unix-style scenario: client requires data stored in NFS server
    • Server implement NFS daemon process  (nfsd) -- Ensure generic availability to clients
    • Server administrator determines what to make available, export names and parameters of directories  /etc/exports and the exportfs command
    • The client requests access to exported data issueing a mount command
  3. Journaling
  4. Journaling is only used when writing to a disk and it acts as 'punch-clock' for all writes. This fixes issues with disk corruption whenever things are put into hard drive or in cases of computer crashes and power lost. It ensures the condition that file has been written or lost in the disk.

    The only downside of journaling is that it sacrifices performance with stability.
    • There is more overhead to write a file to disk but file systems get around this overhead by not writing the full file to the journal. Instead only the file metadata, inode, or disk location is recorded before actually being written to disk.
  5. Ext4: It is linux based filesystem and supports its predecessors ext3, ext2 and ext file system. It reduces file fragmentation, allows for larger volumes and files, employes delayed allocation(helps flash memory life -- however has potential for data loss).
  6. It also shows promising performance numbers for database servers, but hasn’t been around as long as Ext3.
  7. BtrFS, pronounced “Butter” or “Better” FS, is being  developed by Oracle and contains similar features found in ReiserFS. It stants for B-Tree File System and allows for drive pooling, on the fly snapshots, transparent compression, and online defragmentation.  It is being specifically designed for enterprises but most every consumer distro has plans to move to it as the default file system eventually.
  8. ZFS is worth a mention because it is being developed by Oracle and has similar features to Btrfs and ReiserFS. It was in the news in recent years when Apple was rumored to move to it as their default file system. Due to its licensing, Sun CDDL, it is not compatible to be included in the Linux kernel. It does however have support through Linux’s Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) which makes using ZFS possible.
    • Shows great performance in large disk arrays.
    • Supports a lot of advanced features including drive pooling, snapshots, and dynamic disk striping.
    • It may be difficult to install in Linux because it requires FUSE and might not be supported by your distribution.

  9. Distributed File System (Microsoft) DFS. is a set of client and server services that allow an organization using Microsoft Windows servers to organize many distributed SMB file shares into a distributed file system. DFS provides location transparency and redundancy to improve data availability in the face of failure or heavy load by allowing shares in multiple different locations to be logically grouped under one folder, or DFS root.
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About Author (Anup Adhikari)

This portal "ICT for Local Bodies" is written by various individuals - ICT Experts and ICT Volunteers working under MoFALD/LGCDP with an aim of integrating ICT at Local Governance. The author is this post is mentioned at the end of the article itself (with their Google+ profile alongside). Learn more about ICT4LB KMDB here.