mfs/ramdisk performance issues

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Wed Jun 18 10:35:16 PDT 2003

Forrest Aldrich wrote:
[ ... ]
> In a mail gateway configuration, several people have suggested that 
> using a tmpfs (or mfs, depending upon your flavor of Unix) would provide 
> a performance increase (i/o).   Though someone argued (on a list 
> posting) that the buffering on normal disk operation would probably be 
> better.

I'm not sure about "better", but certainly "safer".  What happens to spooled 
mail on a tmpfs/mfs filesystem when the system goes down?

Anyway, most mail servers are limited by network bandwidth, not by local I/O 
performance.  If you're not talking about hundreds of thousands of messages per 
day, you probably don't need to worry about performance tuning this aspect.


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