On 8/10/17, 10:48 AM, "Austin S. Hemmelgarn" <ahferro...@gmail.com> wrote:
>On 2017-08-10 13:24, Eric Biggers wrote:
>>On Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 07:32:18AM -0400, Austin S. Hemmelgarn wrote:
>>>On 2017-08-10 04:30, Eric Biggers wrote:
>>>>On Wed, Aug 09, 2017 at 07:35:53PM -0700, Nick Terrell wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> It can compress at speeds approaching lz4, and quality approaching lzma.
>>>>
>>>> Well, for a very loose definition of "approaching", and certainly not at 
>>>> the
>>>> same time.  I doubt there's a use case for using the highest compression 
>>>> levels
>>>> in kernel mode --- especially the ones using zstd_opt.h.
>>> Large data-sets with WORM access patterns and infrequent writes
>>> immediately come to mind as a use case for the highest compression
>>> level.
>>>
>>> As a more specific example, the company I work for has a very large
>>> amount of documentation, and we keep all old versions.  This is all
>>> stored on a file server which is currently using BTRFS.  Once a
>>> document is written, it's almost never rewritten, so write
>>> performance only matters for the first write.  However, they're read
>>> back pretty frequently, so we need good read performance.  As of
>>> right now, the system is set to use LZO compression by default, and
>>> then when a new document is added, the previous version of that
>>> document gets re-compressed using zlib compression, which actually
>>> results in pretty significant space savings most of the time.  I
>>> would absolutely love to use zstd compression with this system with
>>> the highest compression level, because most people don't care how
>>> long it takes to write the file out, but they do care how long it
>>> takes to read a file (even if it's an older version).
>> 
>> This may be a reasonable use case, but note this cannot just be the regular
>> "zstd" compression setting, since filesystem compression by default must 
>> provide
>> reasonable performance for many different access patterns.  See the patch in
>> this series which actually adds zstd compression to btrfs; it only uses 
>> level 1.
>> I do not see a patch which adds a higher compression mode.  It would need to 
>> be
>> a special setting like "zstdhc" that users could opt-in to on specific
>> directories.  It also would need to be compared to simply compressing in
>> userspace.  In many cases compressing in userspace is probably the better
>> solution for the use case in question because it works on any filesystem, 
>> allows
>> using any compression algorithm, and if random access is not needed it is
>> possible to compress each file as a single stream (like a .xz file), which
>> produces a much better compression ratio than the block-by-block compression
>> that filesystems have to use.
> There has been discussion as well as (I think) initial patches merged 
> for support of specifying the compression level for algorithms which 
> support multiple compression levels in BTRFS.  I was actually under the 
> impression that we had decided to use level 3 as the default for zstd, 
> but that apparently isn't the case, and with the benchmark issues, it 
> may not be once proper benchmarks are run.

There are some initial patches to add compression levels to BtrFS [1]. Once
it's ready, we can add compression levels to zstd. The default compression
level in the current patch is 3.

[1] https://lkml.kernel.org/r/20170724172939.24527-1-dste...@suse.com


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