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Old 02-10-2003, 11:43 PM   #1
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What file system is best for this application:

I am new to Linux and want to use it for a backup server, which will back up a number of drives nightly. The backup server has 2 raid 5 schemes: 1 is Ultra Wide Scsi, with 4 drives (4 x 47GB.) the other is 10 RAID 5 fibre Channel drives (10 x 18.2GB.)

The latter array will actually be 9 active raid drives with 1 acting as an automatic spare incase of a failure. The scsi array doesn't (yet) have that option.

basically i want to backup each harddrive from each computer on my small network of 5 computers.

While I will have many questions, I will look for the answers before asking here.

First thing's first though, WHAT FILE SYSTEM IS BEST FOR MY BACKUP SERVER?! XFS? ReiserFS? NTFS (through the latest sourceforge development?) ole FAT32? WHICH?!

Speed isn't a real necessity, stability is. I don't want any errors, or as few as possible.

Thanks for your time.
Old 02-10-2003, 11:45 PM   #2
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Also, which distro is best to run the backup server? Best as in easy to use and easy to learn, but still reasonable fast.

Thanks again.
Old 02-11-2003, 10:10 AM   #3
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Well if it's stability you want then I'd go for a journal filesystem and one that's been around for a while so most of the bugs have been resolved by now. And since it's a linux system you would be better off choosing a native filesystem and not a windows filesystem. So that would definetly eliminate FAT32 and NTFS.
So that leaves you with something like XFS or ReiserFS or maybe Ext3. They all have different advantages and disadvantages. Personally I'd go for ReiserFS but that's personal preference.

There are a bunch of articles online talking about the benefits of each filesystem. You might want to read through a few of those before you choose.

As for distro I don't think it really matters. Just use one you are comfortable with. You can basically tweak any distro to a minimal version which will run stable and fast.

Last edited by Mik; 02-11-2003 at 10:12 AM.
Old 02-11-2003, 10:20 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot for your quick response!

That's great news for me because the existing distro on the computer that is going to be my fileserver/backserver is already running Mandrake 9.0 (I have mandrake 9.1 b2, but am going to play with it first to see if its worth upgrading) and it's already on a ReiserFS file system. I'm going to do a little more research on the Pros/Cons of XFS v ReiserFS v EXT3.

Thanks again.
Old 02-20-2003, 09:13 AM   #5
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ReiserFS has the advantage of speed (especially for lots of small files) over EXT3, but the disadvantage of no "dump/restore" type backup utility. So, if you want to backup the ReiserFS partition (for some reason), you will probably have to use TAR, GnuTAR, Arkeia, or the like. Of course, since this machine IS the backup server, this may not be of much concern to you.

ReiserFS is also more efficient in its use of disk-space.

I have been using ReiserFS on a RedHat 7.3-based system (Actually running the OpenMosix kernel 2.4.20-1) with a 3Ware Escalade 7450. So far, it has been remarkably stable and reliable.

Good luck.


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