Next3®: Enabling Thin Provisioned Snapshots
CTERA has developed an open-source file system named Next3, based on the ubiquitous Ext3 file system, for the purpose of supporting enterprise-grade snapshot capabilities in its cloud storage gateways.
Snapshots are useful for recovering previous version of files that were accidentally overwritten or lost, and are often required for regulatory compliance purposes or for disaster recovery.
Next3 provides the ability to create highly-efficient multiple snapshots that create restore points for the entire volume, with minimal impact on file system performance. The Next3 snapshots use dynamically allocated space, so there is no need to pre-allocate and waste valuable space on the disk for snapshots, and unused space is automatically recovered for file system use.
- Dynamic allocation of disk space for snapshot use
- Deleted snapshot space automatically recovered for file system use
- Supports multiple snapshots with no deterioration in performance
- Forward and backward compatible with Ext3
Next3 ApplicationsNext3 is available as standard in CTERA's Cloud Attached Storage appliances, where it is used to provide advanced network storage versioning capabilities, including:
- Scheduled snapshot creation: Automatically create snapshots according to the desired schedule
- Snapshot retention policy: Automatically determine when old snapshots are deleted
Additional Resources:(links open in new window)
- Next3 Sourceforge page: Download Next3 source files here
- Next3 Sourceforge wiki: Documentation, design documents and FAQs
- Ext4 mailing list: Announcement of Next3 to the open source community and discussions
- LWN article: LWN Editor's article about Next3 file system
- The Story of Next3: Blog post explaining why Next3 was developed
- Next3 Wikipedia page