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Synology: How Btrfs protects your company's data
Saturday, 10 October 2015 00:00

Next-generation file system delivers data integrity and efficient snapshots

When dealing with large-scale data storage, businesses require a solution that prevents data corruption, while providing flexible backup tools. The next-generation Btrfs file system brings these tools to Synology NAS servers, allowing businesses and organizations to reduce maintenance overhead and efficiently store their data.


What is Btrfs?

Btrfs is a modern file system developed by multiple parties and now supported by select Synology NAS models. Btrfs was designed to address obstacles often encountered in enterprise storage systems, such as fault tolerance, management, and data protection.


What are the benefits of Btrfs?

Implementing Btrfs volumes on Synology NAS delivers various benefits for enterprise users.

151010-benefits icon 01 Metadata mirroring and increased data availability
In any storage system, keeping metadata intact is critical as it includes important information, such as folder structures, filenames, access permissions, and the location of each file. Btrfs stores two copies of metadata on a volume, allowing for data recovery if the hard drive is damaged or suffers from bad sectors.
151010-benefits icon 02 Automatic corruption detection and repair
Traditional storage systems might experience errors that go completely unnoticed, which result in corrupt data being provided to applications with no warning or error messages. In order to avoid these types of errors, Btrfs generates checksums for data and metadata, and then verifies the checksums during each read process. If the file system discovers a mismatch, it attempts to repair the bad data automatically and logs the event for later reference.
151010-benefits icon 03 Snapshots and data protection
The Btrfs file system introduces a powerful snapshot feature allowing you to create a point-in-time copy of an entire shared folder. That way, if human error results in a lost or corrupt database, you can quickly restore the data back to the previous time at which the snapshot was captured.
Low impact, big benefit Frequent, scheduled backup
Taking a snapshot consumes only a small amount of additional storage space, while exerting little impact on system performance thanks to Btrfs's copy-on-write architecture. Automatically create point-in-time copies of data up to every 5 minutes without affecting performance, guaranteeing granular data backup and recovery.
Customizable retention policy Instantaneous snapshots
Retain up to 256 hourly, daily, or weekly recovery points according to your individual needs. Smart retention options automatically delete unneeded versions. Capture snapshots instantly and backup data without worrying about files being modified or deleted during the backup process.
Self-service recovery
Employees can view earlier versions of files and restore them to a previous state by themselves using File Station or Windows File Explorer.


Additional benefits of Btrfs

Using the Btrfs file system on your Synology NAS brings a wide variety of benefits to DiskStation Manager and Synology packages.

Efficient Cloud Station storage

Compared to ext4 volumes, Btrfs does not require double the storage space for Cloud Station's file versioning and history data. You can retain historical versions of files when using Cloud Station — without worrying about consuming too much storage space.

151010-additional benefits 01

Data consistency of backups

Traditional backup methods require time to copy data from one place to another, potentially leading to inconsistent data if files are modified during the backup process. Btrfs solves this issue by taking a snapshot before the backup process starts, and then copying the snapshot data to the backup destination — with no need to worry about files being modified, moved, or deleted.

151010-additional benefits 02

Quotas for shared folders

Specify a storage limit for individuals shared folders, so your storage space will not be consumed by a particular shared folder. This is helpful for controlling available storage space when multiple teams or departments store files on the same Synology NAS server.

151010-additional benefits 03

Clone entire shared folders

With Btrfs, you can simply select a shared folder and make a clone of all the contents nearly instantaneously. This is useful when testing updates to websites or databases and you need a quick clone.

151010-additional benefits 04

Would you like to know more?

See the links below for technical details regarding Btrfs and integration with Synology NAS.

151010-more icon 01 Data Protection White PaperSee the white paper
Get technical details regarding the wide variety of data backup and protection tools provided by Synology NAS.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to configure anything special to take advantage of the data integrity features of Btrfs?

The metadata mirroring and checksum features are enabled by default on all Btrfs volumes. For files, the copy-on-write and checksum features are enabled by default, but can be switched off for best performance.

How do I create a Btrfs volume?

Open Storage Manager and create a new volume. You will be prompted to choose a file system (btrfs or ext4) during the creation process.

Where can I create and restore file from snapshots?

Data Protection Manager (available on Synology NAS models that support Btrfs) includes options to take snapshots on demand or configure schedules and retention policies. You can browse and restore snapshots using Data Protection Manager, File Station, Windows File Explorer, or other file protocols.

How can I clone a shared folder on a Btrfs volume?

Open Control Panel and go to the Shared Folder tab. Then click the arrow on the create button and select Clone to clone a shared folder.





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