With the latest Network Attached Storage (NAS) units, Hard Disk Cage arrays and External drives hitting low prices coupled with low-price Multi-terabyte hard drives large drive arrays that are making their way into Small-Medium (including enterprise solutions) businesses and even homes a question is often asked what do I format my file system with? What is more robust and why?
We will explain the following file system types and their features- these include the three popular File Systems (FS):
Hierarchical File System Plus (HFS+)
Third extended file system (Ext3fs)
New Technology File System (NTFS)
There are of course strengths and weaknesses of all three file systems, we are going to provide examples so that it illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of each file system.
The following table below briefly defines what each of the file system advantages and disadvantages are (their workings):
With the information in the attached table and strengths and weaknesses of NTFS, in my opinion NTFS file system appears to be a far more robust and reliable file-system to use within our existing environment, that being from Home to Enterprise level, some examples of my justification may include:
Vendor upkeep -Widespread support
Widely adopted -Used throughout the corporate world from small businesses to larger global corporations
Utilised in the Small Office Home Office (SOHO) environment since its introduction with Windows NT professional 3.1
Maturity -One of oldest of the three file systems – allowing maturity- bugs fixes and new features to be introduced
Support framework -The backing of a large multi-billion dollar organisation (providing a stable foundation of support)
Growth – NTFS is an exceptionally scalable file system, although the max volume size tested by Microsoft is 16TB supports more than HFS+ theoretical limit including more than the Ext3fs file system, this is likely to increase with Microsoft operating systems
NTFS LUNs theoretical limit on NTFS volumes is 2TB on a disk containing a MBR (Master boot Record) and 16 Exabyte’s on GPT (GUID Partition Table) Disks.
Control – More importantly NTFS supports granular Access Control Lists whereas Ext3fs file system supports a basic form of ACL, HFS+ recently moved towards NFS style ACLS from OS 10.4.
Robust – NTFS an efficient file system –ext3 file system is based on ext2 file system with its own flaws still carried across –ext3 has an impact on performance due to its journaling feature, NTFS on the other hand has enhanced its performance/feature set.