Filesystem Deathmatch: Ext4 Benchmarked Against Brtfs And Reiser4

Awhile back we had mentioned about Google committing to use of Ext4 as the filesystem for their servers. Google Senior Engineer Michael Rubin had explained that after a   lot of performance testing of the available filesystems, they came to a conclusion that ext4 was best suited to their needs.

Well, Phoronix conducted few tests of their own, pitting Ext4 against Reiser4, Brtfs and the original ReiserFS. They used their inhouse Phoronix test suite with the SQLite, Compile Bench, and IOzone tests, on an Intel Core i3 530 processor operating at 3.31GHz, an ECS Elitegroup H55H-M motherboard, 2GB of DDR3 system memory, and a 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD.

The results made up for an interesting analysis. Reiser4 was the fastest performing file system in 5 of the 7 tests. Brtfs was pretty fast, and Ext4 couldn’t perform as well as either ReiserFS or Brtfs, with the orignal ReiserFS trailing the pack. Given that that Google would’ve done lot more tests than Phoronix might have, it is prudent to assume that Google believes that the performance benefits gained by the transition to Reiser4 or Brtfs would be negligible, especially considering that the fact that Ext4 is backward compatible with Ext2.

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Sathya Bhat

Sathyajith aka "Sathya" or "cpg" loves working on computers, and actively participates in many online communities. Sathya is a Community Moderator on Super User, a collaboratively maintained Q&A site which is part of the Stack Exchange network. Sathya also contributes to and is a Super Moderator at Chip India Forums. While not writing SQL queries or coding in PL/SQL, Sathya is also a gamer, a Linux enthusiast, and maintains a blog on Linux & OpenSource. You can reach Sathya on twitter.

  • Surprised that ZFS wasn't included. Isn't it supposed to be the most scalable and robust FS?

    • Pallab,
      ZFS is available for Linux kernel via FUSE, and is still under active development . Though ZFS is opensource, the license requirements of ZFS is incompatible with the Linux kernel's licensing scheme. Perhaps for this reason Phoronix preferred to leave out ZFS for the time being.