Question about bitcask disk space usage

Luke Monahan lukemonahan at
Tue Mar 15 18:53:13 EDT 2011

Hi All,

I am just poking around riak and riaksearch at the moment, and have found
that the disk space usage I am seeing is about 100-to-1 for the actual data
size being stored. That is, for every 1MB of data I am saving in Riak I am
getting about 100MB of disk space used.

My data has keys of variable length, but only up to about 16 characters. The
data itself is up to about 100B only for each entry (I'm saving many small
entries). I'm only counting the size of the bitcask directory when looking
at this, starting from a clean install (i.e. no overwriting of old data,
which I know would simply append until the cleanup process occurs).

The IO levels I'm seeing when loading up data does not seem to be anywhere
near enough to count for the amount of disk usage. Is there some thick
allocation of files going on, or am I mistaken here?

In any case, is the disk usage I'm seeing normal or is something going
wrong? I actually can't play with the data set I want on my laptop with this
high disk usage, so before I go and buy and external SATA disk I thought I'd
check to see if this is expected.

Ubuntu 10.10 64-bit, Erlang and riak from source (latest release) as per the
wiki, ext4 filesystem, 4GB RAM. Using riak-js and nodejs, both at the latest
released version.

Thanks in advance,

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