11th Systems Administration Conference (LISA '97)
The Cyclic News Filesystem: Getting INN To Do More With Less
Scott Lystig Fritchie
Minnesota Regional Network
When Usenet News servers were first implemented, the design
principle of storing each Usenet article in a separate file appeared
to be sound. However, the number of Usenet News articles posted per
day has grown phenomenally in the past decade and shows no sign of
abating. To stay ahead of the growth curve, Usenet administrators have
been forced to buy faster machines, more RAM, and many more disk
drives. Many of the performance limitations are caused by interactions
with the underlying OS's filesystem, which is usually a Berkeley Fast
Filesystem (FFS) derivative.
The Cyclic News Filesystem (CNFS)
was designed to avoid most of FFS's major problems when used with INN:
synchronous file linking/unlinking and sequential scanning of
directory files. Articles are stored within a relative handful of
large files, either as regular files on top of a standard filesystem
or as block disk devices. Articles are stored sequentially within each
file, resuming at the beginning of the file when the end is reached.
Disk activity is reduced by an order of magnitude.
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