The Linux 5.10 release included a change that is expected to significantly increase the performance of the ext4 filesystem; it goes by the name “fast commits” and introduces a new, lighter-weight journaling method. Let us look into how the feature works, who can benefit from it, and when its use may be appropriate.
Better file system performance is always welcome, especially when it concerns what is probably the most common file system among desktop Linux users.
This looks very promising if the benchmarks are anything to go by. It seems surprising that after so many years in existence, there are still such dramatic performance optimizations left on the table. I look forward to deploying this!
I haven’t benchmarked it recently, by my computers had incurred ext4 performance regressions that I was able to undo with this ext4 mount flag “noauto_da_alloc”. But one should be aware that certain access patterns that don’t commit any more and could cause writes to get deferred for longer.
So I think there are still optimization opportunities.
And here I am still waiting for BTRFS to be fully stable:
RAID 5 will outright lose your data, and while RAID 1+0 works, in their terms “RAID10 OK tbd mostly OK reading from mirrors in parallel can be optimized further (see below)”, they won’t actually read the data in parallel.
I tried ZFS, and it was not for me. And as fast as ext4 + thin provisioning is, I really would like the bit-rot protection.