dump performance hint: the block size really matters
I have always more or less ignored dump's
-b argument, assuming it was
something only relevant for output to tapes (which I never do; even our
backups that eventually wind up on tapes get sent to standard output for
mangling by Amanda).
Except today I was getting disappointing dump speeds from a system with fast disks, so I decided to experiment with it. And boy have I been wrong.
dump block size
(This is on a disk system that hits 69 MB/s on streaming reads.)
I got these numbers from a filesystem with a fair number of large files, but my home directory partition (complete with my MH folders) still did 40 Mb/s at 1024K. Since I am soon to dump and restore this machine to another one (don't ask) and I have a gigabit network link that I could use for this with some work, this is a quite timely discovery.
(Despite all the bad things that people say about it, the
remains my favorite tool for backing up and copying entire filesystems.
I feel that dumping from outside the filesystem, with full access to the
exact on-disk representation of the files you're working on, is the most
reliable way in general to get an exact copy of everything.)