Evaluating File System Reliability on Solid State Drives


Shehbaz Jaffer, Stathis Maneas, Andy Hwang, and Bianca Schroeder, University of Toronto


As solid state drives (SSDs) are increasingly replacing hard disk drives, the reliability of storage systems depends on the failure modes of SSDs and the ability of the file system layered on top to handle these failure modes. While the classical paper on IRON File Systems provides a thorough study of the failure policies of three file systems common at the time, we argue that 13 years later it is time to revisit file system reliability with SSDs and their reliability characteristics in mind, based on modern file systems that incorporate journaling, copy-on-write and log-structured approaches, and are optimized for flash. This paper presents a detailed study, spanning ext4, Btrfs and F2FS, and covering a number of different SSD error modes. We develop our own fault injection framework and explore over a thousand error cases. Our results indicate that 16\% of these cases result in a file system that cannot be mounted or even repaired by its system checker. We also identify the key file system metadata structures that can cause such failures and finally, we recommend some design guidelines for file systems that are deployed on top of SSDs.

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@inproceedings {234910,
author = {Shehbaz Jaffer and Stathis Maneas and Andy Hwang and Bianca Schroeder},
title = {Evaluating File System Reliability on Solid State Drives},
booktitle = {2019 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX ATC 19)},
year = {2019},
isbn = {978-1-939133-03-8},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {783--798},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/atc19/presentation/jaffer},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jul

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