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2.3. Block Allocation Issues

This section provides a summary of issues related to block allocation in GFS2 file systems. Even though applications that only write data typically do not care how or where a block is allocated, a little knowledge about how block allocation works can help you optimize performance.

2.3.1. Leave Free Space in the File System

When a GFS2 file system is nearly full, the block allocator starts to have a difficult time finding space for new blocks to be allocated. As a result, blocks given out by the allocator tend to be squeezed into the end of a resource group or in tiny slices where file fragmentation is much more likely. This file fragmentation can cause performance problems. In addition, when a GFS2 is nearly full, the GFS2 block allocator spends more time searching through multiple resource groups, and that adds lock contention that would not necessarily be there on a file system that has ample free space. This also can cause performance problems.
For these reasons, it is recommended that you not run a file system that is more than 85 percent full, although this figure may vary depending on workload.