X9000 Ibrix NAS case sensitivity performance benefit for Windows clients

State run organisation suffered from significant performance problems using X9000 IBrix NAS in Windows only environment.

The performance problem was reoccuring and annoying.

This example is my attempt to prove the point of importance of paying attention to simple details when dealing with any problem.

The file systems on NAS were created with case-insensitive feature disabled. Note that the file system or directory must be created under the X9000 File Serving Software 6.0 or later release before case-insensitive feature can be used.

By default, X9000 file systems and directories follow POSIX semantics and file names are case-sensitive for Linux/NFS users.

File names are always case-insensitive for Windows clients.

To use Windows semantics for Linux/NFS users, you can make a file system or subdirectory case-insensitive. Doing this prevents a Linux/NFS user from creating two files that differ only in case (such as foo and FOO).

If Windows users are accessing the directory, having two different files with the same name but different case might be confusing, and the Windows users may be able to access only one of the files.

Solution

In any properly designed design, Ibrix X900 file systems should be set to case-insensitive if only Windows clients connect to them:

To enable it via command line:

# ibrix_caseinsensitive -s -f FSNAME -c ON -p PATH
To disable it via command line:
# ibrix_caseinsensitive -s -f FSNAME -c OFF -p PATH
Proposed the case-sensitivity change and the immedate benefit to the customer was between 90 and 100% improvement for writes (their environment was heavy audio/video writes).

The question is why a critical production environment had such a bad configuration setup. Where was the operations acceptance testing before going into production?