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Making production-ready filesystems: A case study using ext4

Time:13:30 - 14:15
Day:Wednesday 20 January 2010
Location:Renouf 2 (MFC)
Project: ext4

On October 11, 2008, the patches which declared the ext4 filesystem as stable was merged into the mainline Linux sources. However, there has a huge amount of work to polish, improve, and fix bugs in ext4 since then, and ext4 will probably not be ready for use by data centers until second half of 2010. Many developers are sometimes surprised by the long period that it takes before a filesystem is trusted for use in critical production systems, but ZFS took a similar course; Sun released ZFS in 2005 after five years of development, two years later, in 2007, people were still reporting problems that indicated they did not consider ZFS to be production-ready.[1]


This presentation will examine what makes particularly difficult to move a filesystem from "stable" to "production-ready", with a special emphasis to the work done by the ext4 development team since 2008. Examples from other filesystems' development histories will also be included.

Theodore Tso

Theodore Ts’o is the first North American Linux Kernel Developer, and organizes the Annual Linux Kernel Developer’s Summit, which brings together the top 75 Linux Kernel Developers from all over the world for an annual face-to-face meeting. He was a founding board member of the Free Standards Group, and was chair of that organization until it merged with OSDL to form the Linux Foundation. He is one of the core maintainers for the ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems, and is the primary author and maintainer for e2fsprogs, the user space utilities for the ext2/3/4 file systems. At IBM, Theodore served as the architect for the Real-Time Linux development team. Theodore is currently on assignment with the Linux Foundation where he serves its Chief Technology Officer.