Abstract - Technical Program - OSDI 99
Logical vs. Physical File System Backup
Norman C. Hutchinson, University of British Columbia
Stephen Manley, Mike Federwisch, Guy Harris,
Dave Hitz, Steven Kleiman, Sean O'Malley
Network Appliance, Inc.
As file systems grow in size, ensuring that data is safely stored
becomes more and more difficult. Historically, file system backup
strategies have focused on logical backup where files are written in
their entirety to the backup media. An alternative is physical backup
where the disk blocks that make up the file system are written to the
backup media. This paper compares logical and physical backup
strategies in large file systems. We discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of the two approaches, and conclude by showing that
while both can achieve good performance, physical backup and restore
can achieve much higher throughput while consuming less CPU. In
addition, physical backup and restore is much more capable of scaling
its performance as more devices are added to a system.
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