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This question has been asked a number of times in general linux terms and in relation to certain file systems, but I have not seen the question asked about this specific brand/model SAN. So, the question is: What's the fastest way to delete millions of files (JPGs ranging from 1-15MB) on an Isilon near line model? Unfortunately, it's a custom OS and modifying that is entirely out of the question (unless it's something supported by Isilon that doesn't void the warranty). As far as I can tell, rm via SSH is barely faster than just mounting the share from a client and deleting it that way -- and those are the only two options I'm aware of. The Isilon GUI file system explorer doesn't have a delete function. Anyway, if anyone has any experience with this model (or even with Isilon in general -- they're probably similar), I'd appreciate any input.


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A locally run rm is a bad idea on an isilon cluster. It is single threaded and will make use of only one node's power. If you want a faster method, you'd be better off with the TreeDelete job as it is multi-threaded and will use the entire cluster's compute strength to complete. – MaQleod Oct 12 '12 at 22:54

If the backup of the remaining of the data, formatting the fs and restoring the backup is faster than the delete, then you can consider this as a solution.

If the filesystem is a transactional one (journal based one), then disable the journal, increase the time for sync to disk of the fs, delete the data, then re-enable the journal.

In the OneFS WebUI go to the Cluster Management > Operations page.

There is a link called "Start Job". Click it and in the Job field select TreeDelete. Enter the path that is desired to be deleted. Then click Start. The folder and its children will be deleted.

Be sure to remove any orphaned shares that point to a path in that tree. Otherwise the SMB shares may not display correctly.

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disabling the journal on an Isilon is a very, very, very bad idea and will likely cause data loss across the cluster. Please do not ever attempt this. – MaQleod Jan 29 '13 at 20:03

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