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What type linux file system for VMware host?

Posted on 2007-11-14
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I am re-doing some of my test lab stuff at home.  I am going to be putting VMserver on a linux host.  I am going to use software RAID b/c its a cheaper tower server without a hardware RAID card.

Anyways, I am going to use either 2 250GB drives in a RAID 1 or 3 250GB drives in a RAID 5

I have been reading on the different types of filesystems I can use on the host box(linux).  It appears ext3 doesn't perform nearly as well as say Reiserfs etc.  Do any of you have any experience with this?  what would be the preferred file system time for a VMware host?  From what i've read reiserfs is the fastest but you can't put a reiserfs partition on a guest OS when the host is reiser, but thats not a concern to me at all.

also I was wondering about the stride i should use on the RAID array.  Since a larger stride is better for "larger" files would i use that since the vmdk files are very large files?  or does it read into the vmdk files to write the "small" files meaning i should stay with a normal or smaller stride?
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Question by:drrman
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alexanderhristov earned 750 total points
ID: 20286373
Hello !

For me the best FS is XFS , it doesnt crash as much as ext3 and is faster then reiserfs :)
XFS has a lot of cool "administration" tools that u can use and u can fix the FS online without rebooting the pc if it crashes ( which doesnt happen ).

About the stride its only applicable to RAID-0,4,5 ! Knowledge of the size of a stripe allows it to allocate the block and inode bitmaps so that they don't all end up on the same physical drive. The best way to calculate your stride is to leave it the default because it will calculate it the best way possible
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by:WizRd-Linux
WizRd-Linux earned 750 total points
ID: 20295530
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_file_systems

This is much more information that you actually require however it does provide you with a heap of valuable information.

If it is going on a VMWare box, the FS type is irrelivant as all VMWare will do is present "blank disks" for you to do as you wish with.  As for reiser on reiser, just remember that all the host OS will actually see is a very large file.

And you are talking about strides... I'm taking a stab in the dark, but I would assume you are talking about block sizes.  Most file systems are based on a block device, which is a level of abstraction for the hardware responsible for storing and retrieving specified blocks of data, though the block size in file systems block may be multiple of the physical block size. In classical file systems, a single block may only contain a part of a single file. This leads to space inefficiency due to internal fragmentation, since file lengths are often not multiples of block size, and thus the last block of files will remain half-empty. This will create slack space. Some newer file systems attempt to solve this through techniques called block suballocation and tail merging.

Last blurb taken from wikipedia also :)

I hope this information is helpful for you!
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