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Strange problems with xfs an SLESS11 SP2

To: "xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx" <xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Strange problems with xfs an SLESS11 SP2
From: "Hammer, Marcus" <Marcus.Hammer@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 14:41:41 +0200
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Acceptlanguage: de-DE
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Thread-topic: Strange problems with xfs an SLESS11 SP2
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We have upgraded from SLES11 SP1 to SLES11 SP2. We use an exotic ERP System, 
which stores the data in CISAM Files, which we store on several mounted xfs 
filesystems ( /disk2, /disk3, /disk4, /disk5 and /disk6)
The machine is a DELL R910 with 256 GB RAM and installed SLES11 SP2 (before we 
used SLES11 SP1). So we also got the new 3.0 kernel after the upgrade. The xfs 
mounts are LUNs on a netapp storage mapped via fibre channel to the
Linux host. Also we use multipathd to have several paths to the netapp storage 

Now after the upgrade to SLES11 SP2 we encountered a strange change on the xfs 
filesystem /disk5:

The /disk5 is a frequent accessed xfs filesystem by the ERP system. The disk 
usage increased from 53% to 76-78%. But only the disk usage, the size of the 
files are completely the same. The defragmentation increased to 96%

linuxsrv1:/disk4/ifax/0000 # xfs_db -c frag -r 
actual 56156, ideal 2014, fragmentation factor 96.41%

linuxsrv1:/disk4/ifax/0000 # xfs_info 
meta-data=/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b34497248694170 isize=256    
agcount=21, agsize=3276800 blks
         =                       sectsz=512   attr=0
data     =                       bsize=4096   blocks=68157440, imaxpct=25
         =                       sunit=0      swidth=0 blks
naming   =version 2              bsize=4096   ascii-ci=0
log      =internal               bsize=4096   blocks=25600, version=1
         =                       sectsz=512   sunit=0 blks, lazy-count=0
realtime =none                   extsz=4096   blocks=0, rtextents=0

The fstab for xfs mounts are without any special options or optimizations, here 
is the snipped from /etc/fstab:

/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b3449714a47336c   /disk2  xfs     defaults        
0 2
/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b34497247514a56   /disk3  xfs     defaults        
0 2
/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b34497248694170   /disk4  xfs     defaults        
0 2
/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b344972486f6d4e   /disk5  xfs     defaults        
0 2
/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b3449724e6f4266   /disk6  xfs     defaults        
0 2
/dev/mapper/360a98000486e59384b3449724f326662   /opt/usr        xfs     
defaults        0 2

But something must have been changed in xfs, because now the metadata increased 
so massive, we never had this before with SLES11 SP1.

I did a defragmentation with xfs_fsr and the metadata and usage decreased to 
53%. But after 1 hour in production we are agin on 76-78% disk usage and this 

So my question is what has changed from 2.6 kernels 3.0 kernels, which can 
explain this massive increase of metadata. (I did a defrag and we had sometimes 
over 140.000 extends to one inode).

I am completely confused and do now know how to handle this. Perhaps somebody 
can help me to fix this problem or to understand what happens here….
I also talked with some netapp engineers and they said,  I should ask at 

One the filesystem are about 727 CISAM Files (IDX -> Index Files and DAT –> 
DATA Files). There are ten 15 GB Files on which some small content is often 
changed by the ERP system. The rest of the files are lower than 400 MB.
We encounter this problem since the upgrade to SLES11 SP2 and the new kernel 
3.0. (By the way we had to disable the transparent hugepages support in kernel 
3.0, because of kernel crashes ;) - but this is a different story… )

Mit freundlichen Grüßen/Kind regards

M.  Hammer
System administration
Information Technology

AUMA Riester GmbH & Co. KG
Aumastr. 1 • 79379 Muellheim/Germany
Tel/Phone +49 7631 809-1620 • Fax +49 7631 809-71620
HammerM@xxxxxxxx<mailto:hammerm@xxxxxxxx> • www.auma.com<http://www.auma.com/>

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registration: Freiburg HRB 300424
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