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Why you should consider using btrfs, real COW snapshots and file level incremental server OS upgrades like Google does.

Project: Btrfs

Btrfs has seen steady development over time, and is arguably the most modern filesystem available in the linux kernel. Now is time for more users to learn about it and consider using it for multiple kinds of workloads and hopefully help with its development.

The presentation will give you everything you know to get up to speed with btfrs, why you should want to trust your data to btrfs, how it offers a lot of what ZFS offers without the licensing problems, as well as best practices for using it.

I will go into:
- the basics of administration of a btrfs filesystem
- How btrfs, swraid, dmcrypt, and lvm fit or don't fit together
- how to work with a single storage pool and create all your partitions from it without having to ever resize them, or require LVM as a slow and somewhat unreliable block layer.
- how to have virtually as many snapshots as you want and why you really want this
- how to do very efficient block level backups of changes only and much faster than rsync ever will
- how those block backups can be used to deploy OS upgrades at the file level like I explained in my talk on how Google maintains its many servers last year.

I'll also share the simple code I wrote based around btrfs to offer netapp style snapshots as well as easy incremental block diff backups.


Marc has been using linux since 0.99pl15f (slackware 1.1.2, 1994), both as a sysadmin and userland contributor. He has worked for various tech companies in the Silicon Valley, including Network Appliance, SGI, VA Linux, Sourceforge.net, and now Google since 2002, both a server sysadmin and software engineer.
He has done hacking in various areas like mail with exim, mailman, SpamAssassin and SA-Exim, as well as maintained various linux distributions at Google and elsewhere, and given talks about some of those projects, and others at linux conferences since 2001 (LCA, OLS, Linuxcon, Usenix/LISA).