Sync or Soft Updates or gjournal for fileserver

David Wassman DWassman at
Fri Mar 14 19:51:51 UTC 2008


Here is the system specs:
OS: FreeBSD-amd64 7.0-Release
Processors: 2 Intel Xeon 5400 Quads
Storage: ~438 GB RAID 5 (LSI 85016E & 4 Seagate 15K Cheetahs)

My question is with this setup (Have not assembled or installed yet),
for a fileserver running Samba to share in mixed environment, what would
be better, sync, soft updates or gjournal. From my understanding, sync
is the most secure as far as data integrity but suffers from
performance. Soft Updates is a mix between the two but from reading
Lucas's Absolute FreeBSD, he says that it is best for drives under 80GB.
Gjournal sounds like the answer but it is new and from my understand
still considered experimental. As a file server, I would like to keep
snapshots for quick recovery of files but if I am not mistaken this
requires Soft Updates (I have additional backups, but I would like to
run them off snapshots to keep the system available). Does gjournal
support snapshots as well? Will Soft Updates work fine with this setup?
This is for a production environment (it is replacing a Windows 2000
fileserver), so would sync be the best bet to ensure data integrity over
the benefits of soft updates and gjournal? 

I have a fair amount of experience with FreeBSD (5+ years) and would
normally just use Soft Updates but with the size of the storage
involved, new features in 7, and both data integrity and performance
being a concern, I am just not sure which would be best here. 

Any advice would be helpful. 

David Wassman, MCP Net+
IT Network Administrator
Davis, Monk & Company
(800) 344-5034
(352) 372-6300
(352) 375-1583 FAX

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