One of the most significant additions is a new cloud filesystem called Ceph. It is a distributed network filesystem that is designed for massive scalability, capable of managing petabytes of storage. The underlying technology has some novel characteristics, such as an adaptive metadata storage framework that can automatically redistribute information about the filesystem hierarchy across the storage nodes in response to fluctuations in demand. The developers warn, however, that the project is still largely experimental and isn’t ready yet for deployment in production environments.
“Although stability has improved greatly in the last few months, Ceph is still relatively new and experimental for something as conservative as storage, and only time and testing will change that,” wrote developer Sage Weil in a kernel mailing list post. “Getting the code upstream sooner rather than later will accelerate that process by reducing barriers to testing, expanding the pool of systems with a usable client, and making it easier for distros to include it.”
Another major addition is LogFS, a log-structured filesystem that is intended for use on flash storage devices. It is designed to replace the kernel’s Journalling Flash File System v2 (JFFS2), but is best-suited for larger flash storage devices. It is said to offer a reduction in mount time and memory overhead relative to JFFS2.
A number of other noteworthy improvements are present in the .34 release. Suspend and resume performance get a boost from a parallelization effort. Networking in KVM gets performance improvements too, thanks to the vhost net drivers.
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