BSDCan2009 - Final Release

BSDCan 2009
The Technical BSD Conference

Joerg Sonnenberger
Day Talks - 1 - 2009-05-08
Room MRT 256
Start time 14:30
Duration 01:00
ID 138
Track System Administration
Language used for presentation English

Journaling FFS with WAPBL

NetBSD 5 is the first NetBSD release with a journaling filesystem. This lecture introduces the structure of the Fast File System, the modifications for WAPBL and specific constraints of the implementation.

The Fast File System (FFS) has been used in the BSD land for more than two decades. The original implementation offered two operational modes:

  • safe and slow (sync)
  • unsafe and fast (async) One decade ago, Kirk McKusick introduced the soft dependency mechanism to offset the performance impact without risk of mortal peril on the first crash. With the advent of Terabyte hard disks, the need for a file system check (fsck) after a crash becomes finally unacceptable. Even a background fsck like supported on FreeBSD consumes lots of CPU time and IO bandwidth.

Based on a donation from Wasabi Systems, Write Ahead Physical Block Logging (WAPBL) provides journaling for FFS with similar or better performance than soft dependencies during normal operation. Recovery time after crashes depends on the amount of outstanding IO operations and normally takes a few seconds.

This lecture gives a short overview of FFS and the consistency constraints for meta data updates. It introduces the WAPBL changes, both in terms of the on-disk format and the implementation in NetBSD. Finally the implementation is compared to the design of comparable file systems and specific issues of and plans for the current implementation are discussed.