Getting the most out of the btrfs filesystem

  • Speakers: Thorsten Kukuk, Jeff Mahoney
  • Session code: SUSECON 2016 - TUT-91782

SUSE originally introduced the btrfs filesystem to enable snapshot/rollback for the operating system, and thus help drive the mission-critical data center. Btrfs can do more for you, though, and we will look at three technologies and their use cases:

  1. Deduplication: The filesystem is able to find duplicates on the block level and thus minimize the size of your data on the storage medium. This might be especially useful when you are running many containers on your system.

  2. Compression: For specific data types, compressing the data on the disk transparent to the application and the user is an efficient way to handle large amounts of data. On some architectures, this can even be accelerated via specific CPU features.

  3. Send-receive: Btrfs’s send-receive is a filesystem feature that has recently reached stability and maturity and is thus ready for production use. It allows the user to export a subvolume of a filesystem in a simple and efficient manner as a single data stream. The exported subvolume can be stored and used to recreate the subvolume on the original filesystem, or to import that subvolume on another filesystem.

send-receive replaced rsync backups. btrbk works like a charm on infamous host erlangen.