DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2008-04
DragonFly BSD
DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2008-04
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Re: SoC Project Proposal- Anticipatory Disk I/O scheduler

From: Matthew Dillon <dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2008 17:58:36 -0700 (PDT)

:I had submitted a proposal for the Google SoC last week on the
:DragonFlyBSD Anticipatory Disk I/O scheduler. Since the deadline has
:been extended I could do with some improvements, if it requires any.
:If some of you could review the proposal and let me know if it falls
:short or is fine it'd be great.
:Since I was running out of time I could not give a lot of design
:issues from the actual code structure. If this is required could you
:point me to a segment code tree where I must do further research.
:The proposal is here: www.cc.gatech.edu/~thacker/DFlyBSD_proposal_thacker.pdf
:Nirmal Thacker

    Very interesting.  It's true that the user process winds up being
    somewhat synchronous when doing reads from the disk.  Individual
    filesystems do attempt to do some read-ahead but have never been
    able to do all that good a job of it.  The issue is complicated by
    the fact that only the filesystem code really knows what blocksize to
    use for buffer cache operations.

    Having a thread heuristically prefetch data has interesting
    implications.  It *IS* possible to do even without knowing the block
    size the filesystem normally chooses.  It can be done because all
    filesystem related I/O via the buffer cached is backed by a VM object,
    thus making it possible to construct I/O's that directly map the
    backing pages without actually having to go through the buffer cache.

    The big giant lock we still have in DragonFly interferes with MP
    issues but it would probably be beneficial to run such a thread
    on several cpus and dispatch the read-ahead signal to a 'different'
    cpu then the one that triggered the operation, and perhaps work on
    getting rid of the need for the big giant lock in the low level I/O
    system at the same time.

    I think it would be worthwhile.  Then instead of the filesystem
    explicitly doing the read-ahead (which is somewhat expensive and right
    smack in the middle of the critical path), it could instead pass
    heuristical hints to a read-ahead subsystem and let the subsystem
    deal with the read-aheads.

					Matthew Dillon 

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