21.1 About OCFS2

Oracle Cluster File System version 2 (OCFS2) is a general-purpose, high-performance, high-availability, shared-disk file system intended for use in clusters. It is also possible to mount an OCFS2 volume on a standalone, non-clustered system.

Although it might seem that there is no benefit in mounting ocfs2 locally as compared to alternative file systems such as ext4 or btrfs, you can use the reflink command with OCFS2 to create copy-on-write clones of individual files in a similar way to using the cp --reflink command with the btrfs file system. Typically, such clones allow you to save disk space when storing multiple copies of very similar files, such as VM images or Linux Containers. In addition, mounting a local OCFS2 file system allows you to subsequently migrate it to a cluster file system without requiring any conversion.

Almost all applications can use OCFS2 as it provides local file-system semantics. Applications that are cluster-aware can use cache-coherent parallel I/O from multiple cluster nodes to balance activity across the cluster, or they can use of the available file-system functionality to fail over and run on another node in the event that a node fails. The following examples typify some use cases for OCFS2:

OCFS2 has a large number of features that make it suitable for deployment in an enterprise-level computing environment: