Experiences with Fuse in the Real World

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 9:25 am9:50 am

Manoj Pillai, Raghavendra Gowdappa, and Csaba Henk, Red Hat


The Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) module provides a simple way to create user-space file systems. The shortcomings of this approach to implementing file systems have been debated many times in the past, a few times even with data to back up the arguments. In this talk, we will revisit the topic in the context of a distributed Software-Defined Storage (SDS) solution, gluster. We will present our experiences based on users deploying it in production over the years, with FUSE access as the primary interface. In this context, we will discuss some of the problem areas like memory management, and demonstrate trade-offs in implementing important caches in the user-space versus relying on kernel caches.

As gluster expands to newer use-cases like persistent storage for container platforms, it needs to efficiently handle a wide variety of workloads and more frequently handle smaller, single-client volumes. In this context, we see the need to absorb more recent FUSE performance enhancements like write-back caching, and we will present our characterization of the performance benefits obtained from these enhancements.

Manoj Pillai, Red Hat

Manoj Pillai is part of the Performance and Scale Engineering Group at Red Hat. His focus is on storage performance, particularly around gluster, and he has presented on these topics at Open Source Summit, FOSDEM, Vault 2017, Red Hat Summit and Gluster Summit.

Raghavendra Gowdappa, Red Hat

Raghavendra Gowdappa is one of the maintainers of Glusterfs and is currently employed by Red Hat. He has worked on interfacing Glusterfs with FUSE, caching, network and file distribution aspects of Glusterfs. His earlier presentations were at FOSDEM, Vault 2017 and Gluster Summit.

Csaba Henk, Red Hat

Csaba Henk has worked on the fuse layer of Glusterfs from the early times on. He has been involved in augmentative and integration projects, like geo-replication and OpenStack Manila glusterfs drivers. These days he's back at core Glusterfs and works on caches and fuse.

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@conference {230030,
author = {Manoj Pillai and Raghavendra Gowdappa and Csaba Henk},
title = {Experiences with Fuse in the Real World},
year = {2019},
address = {Boston, MA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb,