Phoronix comparision of HAMMER, UFS, ZFS, EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs

Paul Pathiakis pathiaki2 at
Fri Jan 7 14:24:59 UTC 2011

This is almost laughable.  I'd like to know what parameters they were tuning.  I 
used FreeBSD with ZFS to make a point to people using Debian on EXT3, EXT4, XFS 
just two years ago.  They were interested in total throughput and TPS.  Well, I 
used the SAME MACHINE and rebuilt it from scratch with the same parameters 
except the filesystems and the last time I changed the OS to FreeBSD with ZFS.

It was on a SAS drive using JBOD.  It was an HP 1xx series box.  The transaction 
size was 4K.  I believed this was going to skew things heavily in Debian's 
favor.  The machine had a dual core intel processor, an LSI controller card and 
about 4 GB of RAM.  The OS and the test data were on separate drives.  Total 
data written and read was 20 GB in sequential.

The results came out like this:

EXT3 - ~3000 tps
EXT4 - ~3800 tps
XFS - ~ 1800 tps
ZFS - 75000 tps

This benchmark ran flatout and I made 4 runs of each and took the average of the 
slowest 2 of the bunch. (I do this so as not to get caught with my pants down on 
real world performance and for best practices as we all know that due to heat 
and resistance, things get slower until full operating temperature is reached.  
The engineers who were developing the software, gave me their benchmark to run.  
Their target was 15,000 tps and they were struggling.  I asked to see their 
performance testing.  They had done none!  Also, they had done their entire 
product development with out a systems architect or Sr. Systems Administrator in 
the mix.

They later on created a new benchmark to exonerate themselves and it performed 
random access reads, writes and deletes.  The ratio where cut by about 1/2 on 
Debian and about 1/3 on ZFS.  I performed little tuning on anything.  I wanted 
to see it all straight of the box.  All SMP and all 64 bit OS.

Paul Pathiakis
Systems Architect/Sr Admin/Geek
All around nice guy.

From: Miroslav Lachman <000.fbsd at>
To: freebsd-performance at
Sent: Fri, January 7, 2011 6:41:07 AM
Subject: Phoronix comparision of HAMMER, UFS, ZFS, EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs

Another filesystem benchmark from Phoronix. This time comparing HAMMER, UFS, 
ZFS, EXT3, EXT4 and Btrfs on DragonFly BSD, PC-BSD and Ubuntu.

I think it is almost useless test if systems were crippled to UP, because of bad 
SMP performance of DragonFly BSD.

citation: "...the SMP performance under our setup was actually much slower than 
with its UP kernel. As a result, we used the stock DragonFlyBSD UP kernel and 
when benchmarking PC-BSD and Ubuntu we disabled the SMP support there."

Miroslav Lachman
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