Coda File System

large servers: please help

From: Peter J. Braam <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 11:44:30 -0500 (EST)

We are getting a lot of requests for people wanting to run larger Coda
servers.  Basically the answer is: we don't think it will work yet.

The content of this message is roughly as follows:

- where will the limits lie in the nearish future
- this release of Coda is a little different
- we are not a Cathedral we want to be a Bazaar
- we desperately need people running, testing and debugging Coda NOW!

Where will the limits lie?  I think that I can see that we can scale Coda
to approximately 500,000 files over the next year (the size of the files
is irrelevant). There will be implementation changes needed for that which
are not backward compatible, and you'll need a kernel patch on the
servers.  Getting beyond that would require major rewrites.

The 5.0 release is different from previous releases.  If you do a diff
with 4.6.6 you'll (excluding the licenses) get more than a MB. Lots of
stuff got rewritten and improved and the thing that we feel really good
about that our bug fixing time is 25% of what it was a year ago.  This
being said, we have seen deadlocks, crashes, disconnections and other
misery in 5.0 - less than before, but this project is not finished or
something like that.  Performance on tar zxvf is still horrible etc.

But the progress is really quite good.  Our servers stayed up for a month
(well 30 days, I think they crashed this morning), we haven't seen corrupt
directories anymore on the new servers, the Linux 2.1 Coda kernel lockup
was found and fixed last week etc etc.

What we really need is a lot of people that can dedicate space on a 2GB
server to run Coda every day.  Hopefully you can write some testing
software for us, or get a few people to use it and send detailed bug
reports.  If you can fix the bugs, even better.  

We'd like to be a real bazaar, but so far it has proven a little
difficult.  Part is Coda's messy and complex code (it's getting better
though), probably we are doing other things wrong - and if you have
suggestions how we can improve things let us know, and then hopefully you
do it for us (perhaps with our help). Please help us by using it and
getting involved in the problems.  We will continue to work as hard as we
can, but without a bazaar, Coda will not become your 20G server ever.

- Peter -
Received on 1999-01-19 11:45:33