Re: [PATCH 8/8] vm: Add an tuning knob for vm.max_writeback_pages

From: Peter Zijlstra
Date: Tue Sep 01 2009 - 14:39:30 EST

On Tue, 2009-09-01 at 13:19 +0200, Jens Axboe wrote:

> Originally, MAX_WRITEBACK_PAGES was hard-coded to 1024 because of a
> concern of not holding I_SYNC for too long. (At least, that was the
> comment previously.) This doesn't make sense now because the only
> time we wait for I_SYNC is if we are calling sync or fsync, and in
> that case we need to write out all of the data anyway. Previously
> there may have been other code paths that waited on I_SYNC, but not
> any more.
> According to Christoph, the current writeback size is way too small,
> and XFS had a hack that bumped out nr_to_write to four times the value
> sent by the VM to be able to saturate medium-sized RAID arrays. This
> value was also problematic for ext4 as well, as it caused large files
> to be come interleaved on disk by in 8 megabyte chunks (we bumped up
> the nr_to_write by a factor of two).
> So, in this patch, we make the MAX_WRITEBACK_PAGES a tunable, and
> change the default to be 32768 blocks.

Do we really need a tunable for this?

I guess we need a limit to avoid it writing out everything, but can't we
have something automagic?

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