"Speaking of on-disk B-Trees, ReiserFS' biggest problems are all based on its use of flexible B-Trees," suggested a reader on the DragonFlyBSD Kernel mailing list, pointing to the difficulty of detecting a failed node and then of rebuilding the B-Tree. HAMMER filesystem designer and author, Matt Dillon, explained, "if a cluster needs to be recovered, HAMMER will simply throw away the B-Tree and regenerate it from scratch using the cluster's record list. This way all B-Tree I/O operations can be asynchronous and do not have to be flushed on fsync. At the same time HAMMER will remove any records whose creation transaction id's are too large (i.e. not synchronized with the cluster header), and will zero out the delete transaction id for any records whos deletion transaction id's are too large." Matt then acknowledged:
"The real performance issue for HAMMER is going to be B-Tree insertions and rebalancing across clusters. I think most of the issues can be resolved with appropriate heuristics and by a background process to slowly rebalance clusters. This will require a lot of work, though, and only minimal rebalancing will be in [the end-of-the-year] release."