[SATLUG] Filesystem/RAID advice

travis+ml-satlug at subspacefield.org travis+ml-satlug at subspacefield.org
Tue Oct 12 17:51:21 CDT 2010

On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 07:19:30PM -0500, Nate wrote:
>  On 10/11/10 5:21 PM, Todd W. Bucy wrote:
>> you know this is not a bad option given the six and eight core CPUs
>> coming out on the market.  Giving up 4 to 6 cores and and 2 or 3 gigs of
>> ram to run a prog in Win7 is feasible and would still allow you to
>> continue doing 'serious' work with Linux.
> I understand your point, and that would be valid for some tasks, but  
> there are times when I will need to boot into windows. If I am going to  
> invest in a 8-, 16- or 48-core machine I want to be able to leverage all  
> that power for the task at hand, whether it be on linux or on windows.

Adding to your point:

My experience with XP under Virtualbox on a x64 3GHz dual core is that
it was way too slow and bursty to play even Civ 4.  Virtualization
DOES slow down the system.  (It is faster to do virtual networking
than real networking, but that's a different story)

Trap-and-emulate can be several orders of magnitude slower than just
doing something natively.  Graphics are a serious problem for VMs,
because you've got to scale, stretch and mix up into the host's GUI,
which usually takes copying the data from guest to host, at least.
Sound can also be a problem.

And to your question:

Cross-platform file systems are a thorny issue, and this is NOT by
accident.  There are reasons why NTFS is hard to do for F/LOSS.

Most of us avoid it by using a network file system, but performance
does suffer.

There was a ext2fs driver for XP last I checked, but BE VERY CAREFUL
and test it thoroughly; after installing it several years ago, every
time I tried mounting a TrueCrypt volume, I got the BSOD, and it
wasn't clear how to undo what I had done by installing it.

I personally would trust my data on an ext2 partition far more than
a NTFS partition, or anything that came out of Redmond.

Regarding RAID, yeah, RAID 0 (no mirroring) or 10 (mirroring) is
best for performance.  Everything else tends to tank it, due to
something I recall being called write amplification.  Google did
a study and picked 10 over 5 due to the fact that it required
fewer I/O operations at the expense of capacity, which is in
more plentiful supply.

Virtualized disks also take a performance hit; you won't want to
use them for your case, obviously.
I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
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