The futuristic next-generation Linux filesystem Btrfs is quickly approaching maturity and Linux system administrators will be seeing it featured more prominently in popular distributions soon. Btrfs has an advanced feature set similar to Oracle/Sun ZFS. It manages logical volumes and physical disks/partitions in a fashion similar to the current Linux LVM or Microsoft’s Dynamic Disk system, Logical Disk Manager (LDM). Btrfs combines low-level disk partitioning with high-level file and folder access to bridge the disconnect between the current Linux filesystem tools LVM and ext4,3,2. The Btrfs tools are designed to manage underlying disks and partitions as pools of storage and present logical volumes to linux for standard file and folder I/O operations. Originally a project of Linux developers at Oracle, commercial support for Btrfs has spread to high-performance-flash company Fusion-io, and most recently to Linux kernel developers funded by Facebook. It is great to see the widespread commercial and community support for this promising new filesystem technology.
Here are some recent articles that you will likely find of interest as you make plans to begin testing Btrfs and look for ways it might be useful for production systems in the near future (if not even today).
- Facebook lures top Btrfs hackers (itwire.com – Chris Mason & Josef Bacik move from Fusion-io to Facebook team)
- openSuSE 13.1 hands on: Some more thoughts (zdnet.com – by J.A. Watson, features Btrfs)
- Btrfs hands on: My first experiments with a new Linux file system (zdnet.com – by J.A. Watson)
- Btrfs hands on: An extremely cool file system (zdnet.com – by J.A. Watson)
- Btrfs hands on: Exploring RAID and redundancy (zdnet.com – by J.A. Watson)
I’m excited to see this top-notch Facebook kernel team dedicating resources to Btrfs. Many thanks to J.A. Watson for featuring Btrfs in his recent articles – the topic is definitely worthy of some press and I expect to see a lot more tech media coverage of Btrfs in the next year or two as other major Linux distributions start to feature Btrfs prominently.