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CentOS 7 to arrive in July with performance boost

Red Hat released RHEL 7 on June 10th which means the CentOS 7 community got to work, to prep their release based on the source. It is currently in “QA” release for review and will go to “GA” release (general availability) sometime in July.

The big news, at least for me, is performance improvements over CentOS 6.5
Red Hat claims 11% to 25% speed increase depending on workload:

Is that plausible from just an OS upgrade? Possibly, depending on better use of hardware and how much contention is going on. CentOS 7 will finally bring the linux 3.10 kernel to replace the 2.6.32 kernel in CentOS 6.5 – this means the elimination of the “big kernel lock” and better memory management.

7 will also bring the XFS filesystem as a default, alternative to EXT4. I am not sold on this change. I have seen a number of benchmarks that show EXT4 is faster in many cases, by a significant percent, over XFS (you can still use EXT4 of course). Apparently GRUB was also replaced with GRUB2 which is something I have to research and learn since it is critical for boot.

Want to read about all the new stuff for yourself?
Try the Red Hat release notes or save it for later in PDF format.

Initially there is no direct upgrade path for CentOS 6.5 to 7.
But they are discussing it and promise to explore after the GA release.

One response

  1. I visited and noted your reference OpenBenchmarking.org benchmark results. The graph is somewhat shocking regarding the xfs and btrfs test results. I know not the internals of postgres sql or the kernel, but there must be some tuning parameters and tuning exercises to allow xfs and btrfs perform better.

    Ext4 is a workhorse, but for very large file systems spread over several disks, I believe EXT4 performance will asymptote to a lower level of throughput using random I/O activity than would XFS or btrfs. (8 gigs is not large enough a test system).

    The latter two access methods use an indexed tables to manage access. The tables have to be searched, to arrive at a location and that extra lookup may account for the low throughput numbers, given a small (8gig) file-system. If the tables are not in the cache, it might explain the poor showing.

    June 25, 2014 at 8:50 pm

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