Is NTFS Journaled?
By Tobias Geisler Mesevage
Microsoft created the New Technology File System (NTFS) in 1993 as a replacement to the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system. It was designed to improve upon FAT by increasing performance, reliability, and disk space.
NTFS is now the most widely used file system in Windows. It supports large files, encryption, and different file permissions.
It also provides better file system recoverability through logging or journaling of any change that alters the file system data structures.
How Does NTFS Journal?
The NTFS change journal creates a log of any added, deleted, or modified files.
The biggest advantage of the NTFS system is that all journaling is done before any changes are made to the disk. Preemptive journaling means that if the system crashes or a power failure occurs in the middle of changes, the file system can recover quickly with no loss of data once the system comes back online. Any partially completed transactions can be redone or reversed.
A journaled file system, such as NTFS, sets aside a special area to log and record changes it will be making before they are made. Post-crash, the file system reads the journal and relays changes until the file system is restored.
Surprisingly, some experts do recommend that users turn off NTFS journaling to improve system performance. Journaling does require more CPU cycles, memory, and disk access, all of which can affect application performance. A journaled file system may also replicate the features already available in your applications.
Without a journaled file system, data recovery typically occurs by storing a backup copy of the database on an external machine.
Often, the advantages of journaling offset the minimal impact on performance. The added layer of protection from journaling provides peace of mind that your data is protected.
Choosing the right disaster recovery plan is critical to every organization’s business continuity plan.
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