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Improving file tree traversal performance by scheduling I/O operations in user space

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4 Author(s)
Lunde, C.H. ; Dept. of Inf., Univ. of Oslo, Oslo, Norway ; Espeland, H. ; Stensland, H.K. ; Halvorsen, P.

Current in-kernel disk schedulers provide efficient means to optimize the order (and minimize disk seeks) of issued, in-queue I/O requests. However, they fail to optimize sequential multi-file operations, like traversing a large file tree, because only requests from one file are available in the scheduling queue at a time. We have therefore investigated a user-level, I/O request sorting approach to reduce inter-file disk arm movements. This is achieved by allowing applications to utilize the placement of inodes and disk blocks to make a one sweep schedule for all file I/Os requested by a process, i.e., data placement information is read first before issuing the low-level I/O requests to the storage system. Our experiments with a modified version of tar show reduced disk arm movements and large performance improvements.

Published in:

Performance Computing and Communications Conference (IPCCC), 2009 IEEE 28th International

Date of Conference:

14-16 Dec. 2009

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