I am looking for any information regarding the use of an ext3 filesystem in an almost full state. By mistake, a number of our filesystem were used at nearly 100% (870G/880G). The filesystem is continuously full as a file of ~1GB (it changes) is deleted and another one is added. This continues ad infinitum. We are unable to reformat or delete all files from these filesystem. However, we have increased the amout of free space per volume so that the usage is at 97% and will eventually be deceased to 95%.
The consequence of this has been bad write performance on the volume. The hypothesis is that this is due to fragmentation. We have improved matters somewhat by tuning the I/O scheduler but some files are still fragmented badly. Can we expect the fragmentation to eventually decrease now that the free space is greater? Is the usage pattern feasible in the long run?