Linux Filesystem Performance for Databases

Location: Meeting Room B2
Average rating: ***..
(3.55, 11 ratings)

How do you choose the right filesystem for your database management system? Administrators have a variety of filesystems to choose from, as well as volume management and hardware or software RAID. This talk will examine how different the performance of filesystems really are, and how do you go about systematically determining which configuration will be the best for your application and hardware.

This talk will present data generated by a group of volunteers running performance tests for database tuning. We were curious if the file systems would really behave like we expected them to, especially when used in conjunction with RAID or volume management.

There is also more to file systems than how fast we can read to or write to them. Reliability is critical for production environments, and proving that is a key part of evaluating performance.

The talk will review and confirm or deny assumptions that many system administrators and developers make about filesystems and databases.

Data shared will include baseline throughput determined with exhaustive fio tests, and data from recent tests that are Postgres specific. We’re using DBT-2, a TPC-C fair use derivative.

Photo of Selena Deckelmann

Selena Deckelmann


Selena Deckelmann is a Software Engineer at End Point Corporation. She is co-chair of Open Source Bridge, a Portland conference dedicated to open source developers. She is User Group Liaison for the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. She currently leads PDXPUG, a PostgreSQL Users Group, and helps operate a programming group, Code-n-Splode, whose goal is to get more women involved in open source development. In her spare time, she collects eggs from her chickens, gardens and occasionally mixes drinks for her local Perl Mongers group.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jason Buberel
07/23/2009 4:13pm PDT

I was fairly disappointed overall. First, Postgres wasn’t even used in any of the testing results reported. In that regard, the title and description were very misleading. A more accurate title may have been ‘Simulating likely database disk activity on various filesystems’.

In addition, the information presented lacked the statistical savvy to make it useful. No standard error bars on the charts, T-tests, ANOVA or other standard statistical measures – this made the results seem very amateurish.

I acknowledge this is a volunteer group, with limited resources, but for a presention at OSCON, it needs a bit more rigor.

Joshua Tolley
07/22/2009 1:15pm PDT

It should be noted that Selena’s biography is no longer entirely correct. She no longer collects eggs from her chickens, as most of her chickens have themselves been collected by local predatory wildlife.

Burvil N/A
07/22/2009 10:43am PDT

A lot of nice information from different tests. Although not comprehensive, it still gives some good guidance for tuning postgres systems.

Jared Meeker
07/22/2009 10:06am PDT

I left with the feeling that there were too many things that weren’t tested, or at least not tested consistently for the presented results to be totally worth-while. This may be due to an incomplete analysis of the existing data as the speaker hinted to. I was hoping for a more concrete and confident presentation about which filesystems/raid types performed better. Also, considering database loads, how about strip sizes, block sizes, etc.

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