Fast Clone for Linux FS's

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Fast Clone for Linux FS's

Veeam Logoby obroni » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:14 pm

Hi,

Marvelling at the enhancements coming in v9.5 surrounding ReFS and then reality strikes and I realise we use Linux repositories. Is there any thoughts about trying to implement similar fast clone functionality with Linux FS's. Although I confess to not understanding how the ReFS enhancements work under the hood. I'm guessing that a lot of it must be possible with BTRFS or ZFS as both are COW in nature and support API's for making a clone of a block?
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Re: Fast Clone for Linux FS's

Veeam Logoby vClintWyckoff » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:09 pm

Nick-
The ReFS enhancements in 9.5 are quite awesome for certain, its actually my favorite and most impactful feature of 9.5. This integration is made possible by leveraging an API that the ReFS 3.1 file system itself provides, BlockClone API. This API is how Microsoft Hyper-V checkpoints operate in Windows Server 2016.

Check out this public MSDN topic for more information
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Re: Fast Clone for Linux FS's

Veeam Logoby obroni » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:15 pm

Hi Clint,

Thanks for your response. I understand that the new features in v9.5 only work with ReFS in W2016. I was more referring to if Veeam had any plans to implement similar functionality with something like BTRFS, which has ioctls for "btrfs-extent-same" and "clone-range", which I imagine could be used to provide similar functionality.
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Re: Fast Clone for Linux FS's

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:45 pm

No short term plans, as BTRFS is too new and unproven to be trusted backups.

Funny you should ask though, because we did research ZFS last month specifically for this purpose. ZFS because it has been extremely popular with the users of Linux-based repositories, especially service providers. However, it appeared that ZFS does not yet provide capabilities similar to BlockClone API of ReFS.

Here's some additional information from the internal forum discussion on the same subject:
tsightler wrote:Here's an LWN article from 2014 that talks a little about the BTRFS_IOC_CLONE and BTRFS_IOC_CLONE_RANGE which were ioctl functions specific to BTRFS, pretty simple stuff really:

https://lwn.net/Articles/581558/

As of kernel 4.5 these functions were brought into the generic VFS level as FICLONE and FICLONERANGE ioctls:

http://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man2/io ... nge.2.html

However, BTRFS remained the only filesystem with support at that time (although NFS v4 CLONE functions were implemented in nfsd to allow support via network), although the XFS developers were working on implementation, which is what made it make sense to bring the calls to the generic VFS layer. Just a little over a month ago you can see the commit to the 4.9-rc kernel tree for XFS to implement these ioctls:

https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kerne ... d16565c1bd

So perhaps once these have time to settle in, and a few major distros move to these newer kernels, it might be something that could be considered, but at this point I' think it is probably too early for sure.
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Re: Fast Clone for Linux FS's

Veeam Logoby obroni » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:41 pm

Excellent news, glad you guys are looking at stuff like this. Agree on BTRFS stability, but XFS supporting this as well would be good once it lands. Thanks for the insight and will keep my fingers crossed.
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