Erik Osterman e at
Wed May 9 05:28:53 UTC 2007

Curious if anyone has gone down the route of creating a fuse filesystem 
implementation around Memcache, kind of along the lines of CacheFS.

The problem with CacheFS, is your limited to the amount of memory on the 
given machine and the usual problems of cache consistency. MemcacheFS 
would extend this principle to work on exported/distributed filesystems 
and benefit from the distributed/fault tolerant design of Memcache. 
Essentially, it would act as a layer between a networked file system, 
storing small objects on demand (cache miss) and stat caches in in 
memory. Readdir() operations would fall back to disk.

Our specific application deals with millions of small xml files, 5-10k 
each. We don't care about readdir operations very much. Often the files 
are accessed directly from within an xslt processor that is not memcache 
aware, not to mention numerous other applications which cannot be easily 
modified to utilize Memcache natively. Further more, scaling Memcache is 
a lot easier than scaling many distributed filesystems; it's just to 
fire up another process and add it to the pool. Memcache has been 
ideally suited for enhancing the performance of database driven 
applications, why not apply it to another kind of database -- the 

I am curious what everyones' take is on this idea. Does this sound like 
a practical solution? What would be your critique against it or other 
concerns, permissions and security aside. Keep in mind, the underling 
filesystem is already network based, thus this would not significantly  
increase network IO. Clearly, I'm tailoring this to our specific needs 
of accessing small files. The solution would be dramatically more 
complex for storing large files and would probably require striping of 
some sort.


Erik Osterman

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