VM aware journaling: Improving journaling file system performance in virtualization environments

Ting Chang Huang, Da Wei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Journaling file systems, which are widely used in modern operating systems, guarantee file system consistency and data integrity by logging file system updates to a journal, which is a reserved space on the storage, before the updates are written to the data storage. Such journal writes increase the write traffic to the storage and thus degrade the file system performance, especially in full data journaling, which logs both metadata and data updates. In this paper, a new journaling approach is proposed to eliminate journal writes in server virtualization environments, which are gaining in popularity in server platforms. Based on reliable hardware subsystems and virtual machine monitor (VMM), the proposed approach eliminates journal writes by retaining journal data (i.e. logged file system updates) in the memory of each virtual machine and ensuring the integrity of these journal data through cooperation between the journaling file systems and the VMM. We implement the proposed approach in Linux ext3 in the Xen virtualization environment. According to the performance results, a performance improvement of up to 50.9journaling approach of ext3 due to journal write elimination. In metadata-write dominated workloads, this approach could even outperform the metadata journaling approaches of ext3, which do not guarantee data integrity. These results demonstrate that, on virtual servers with reliable VMM and hardware subsystems, the proposed approach is an effective alternative to traditional journaling approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-330
Number of pages28
JournalSoftware - Practice and Experience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

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