Re: stochastic fair queueing in the elevator [Re: [BENCHMARK] 2.4.20-ck3 / aa / rmap with contest]

From: Nick Piggin (
Date: Mon Feb 10 2003 - 05:55:36 EST

Andrew Morton wrote:

>Hans Reiser <> wrote:
>>readahead seems to be less effective for non-sequential objects. Or at
>>least, you don't get the order of magnitude benefit from doing only one
>>seek, you only get the better elevator scheduling from having more
>>things in the elevator, which isn't such a big gain.
>>For the spectators of the thread, one of the things most of us learn
>>from experience about readahead is that there has to be something else
>>trying to interject seeks into your workload for readahead to make a big
>>difference, otherwise a modern disk drive (meaning, not 30 or so years
>>old) is going to optimize it for you anyway using its track cache.
>The biggest place where readahead helps is when there are several files being
>read at the same time. Without readahead the disk will seek from one file
>to the next after having performed a 4k I/O. With readahead, after performing
>a (say) 128k I/O. It really can make a 32x difference.
>Readahead is brute force. The anticipatory scheduler solves this in a
>smarter way.
>Yes, device readahead helps. But I believe the caches are only 4-way
>segmented or thereabouts, so it is easy to thrash them. Let's test:
[snip results]

>Still only 300%. I'd expect to see much larger differences on some older
>SCSI disks I have here.
It would be interesting to see numbers with and without anticipatory
scheduling as well. I have tried two streaming readers.
Speed with default readahead 13MB/s
Speed with no readahead, no anticipation 7MB/s
Speed with no readahead, anticipation 11.8MB/s

I suspect more readers will simply favour the anticipatory scheduler


To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Feb 15 2003 - 22:00:26 EST