Striping Settings

Striping in BeeGFS can be configured on a per-directory and per-file basis. Each directory has a specific stripe pattern configuration, which will be derived to new subdirectories and applied to any file created inside a directory. There are currently two basic parameters that can be configured for stripe patterns: the desired number of storage targets for each file and the chunk size (or block size) for each file stripe.

The stripe pattern parameters of BeeGFS can be configured with the Admon GUI or the command-line control tool. The command-line tool allows you to view or change the stripe pattern details of each file or directory in the file system at runtime.

The following command will show you the current stripe settings of your BeeGFS mount root directory (in this case "/mnt/beegfs"):
	$ beegfs-ctl --getentryinfo /mnt/beegfs

Use mode setpattern to apply new striping settings to a directory (in this case "stripe files across 4 storage targets with a chunksize of 1 MB"):
	$ beegfs-ctl --setpattern --numtargets=4 --chunksize=1m /mnt/beegfs

Stripe settings will be applied to new files, not to existing files in the directory. With time, as files are continuously overwritten, moved, copied, removed, and recreated, the new stripe pattern will gradually be applied to all files in the directory.

Buddy Mirroring

If you have buddy mirror groups defined in your system, you can set the stripe pattern to use buddy groups as stripe targets, instead of individual storage targets. In order to do that, add the option --buddymirror to the command, as follows. In this particular example, the data will be striped across 4 buddy groups with a chunk size of 1 MB.
	$ beegfs-ctl --setpattern --numtargets=4 --chunksize=1m --buddymirror /mnt/beegfs

In BeeGFS version 7, this option has been replaced with --pattern=buddymirror.

Impact on network communication

The data chunk size has an impact on the communication between client and storage servers in several ways, as follows.

If you define chunksize=1m, 1 MB will be the maximum size of each message. If the amount of data written to the file is larger than the maximum message size, more messages will have to be sent to the servers and this may cause performance loss. So, slightly increasing the chunk size to a few MB has the effect of reducing the amount of messages and this can have a positive performance impact, even in a system with a single target.

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