The Future of Linux File Systems and Volume Managers

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This is a topic I can be extremely passionate about. I enjoy working with data storage technologies and especially enjoy topics on file systems/volume managers. It is true when they say, “Once you get into data storage it is difficult getting out.” That is because the industry is fascinating. Working with enterprise class equipment is an experience that cannot be forgotten. We are talking about rack mountable blade servers, RAID and JBOD storage arrays working with SCSI-based technologies such as Fibre Channel, SAS (SATA under the SAS), protocol analyzers and more. And that is only the hardware. Step into the software aspect of it such as High Availability, i.e. Clustering, Dynamic Multipathing, Load Balancing, things tend to get a bit more exciting.

Over the course of time, I have had significant exposure to this industry in both permanent and part-time consulting roles. With that, I have also had a significant amount of exposure with UNIX, GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows running in these environments. With this exposure I have seen what has been efficient and what has not. It is my personal opinion that both UNIX and GNU/Linux are more well equipped to cater to enterprise market although I am still concerned for the future of GNU/Linux with regards to one specific area and that is storage management.

The Dilemma

To date, I don’t think I have ever seen any other operating environment support so many file systems and volume managers. You name it and I can assure you that one way or another, it runs on Linux. The problem with having multiple choices of methods or applications in configuring and managing your storage is that there may come a time where you will have to toggle between multiple interfaces in order to accomplish one set of tasks.

A good example is...