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    Subjectwriting out disk cache
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    Another question that's been bugging me -- this is behavior that seems
    identical in 2216/2217 and not related to my ealier performance degredation
    post.

    I run VMware. It runs w/144Mg and writes out a 153M suspend file when I
    suspend it to disk. My system has a total of 512M, so the entire
    suspend file gets written to the disk buffers pronto (often under 1 second).

    But a 'sync' done afterwards can take anywhere from 20-40 seconds.
    vmstat shows a maximum b/o rate of 700, with 200-500 being typical.

    So, I know that the maximum write rate through the disk cache is
    close to 10,000 blocks/second. So why when the disk cache of a
    large file is 'sync'ed out, do I get such low b/o rates?

    Two sample 'vmstat 5' outputs during a sync were:
    1 0 0 6292 13500 254572 165712 0 0 1 0 119 282 1 1
    98
    2 0 0 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 702 279 534 0 2
    98
    1 1 0 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 501 352 669 0 1
    99
    0 1 0 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 520 372 697 0 2
    97
    1 0 0 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 510 367 694 0 2
    98
    0 1 0 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 694 379 715 0 2
    98
    1 0 1 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 618 391 964 0 2
    98
    0 1 1 6292 13444 254572 165716 0 0 0 441 302 765 0 1
    98
    0 0 0 6292 13496 254572 165716 0 0 0 63 180 355 1 1
    99
    0 0 0 6292 13496 254572 165716 0 0 0 0 103 195 0 1
    99
    ----and
    0 0 0 6228 18836 246036 167824 0 0 0 0 232 563 6 13
    82
    0 1 0 6228 18784 246036 167824 0 0 0 506 175 489 2 1
    97
    1 0 0 6228 18780 246036 167824 0 0 0 292 305 647 0 1
    99
    0 1 0 6228 18780 246036 167824 0 0 0 253 285 602 0 1
    99
    0 1 0 6228 18780 246036 167824 0 0 0 226 289 612 0 1
    99
    1 0 0 6228 18832 246036 167824 0 0 0 157 199 406 0 1
    99
    0 0 0 6228 18832 246036 167824 0 0 0 0 101 240 1 1
    99
    ---
    Another oddity -- If you add up the rates in the 2nd example, and multiply
    the average rate by 5, you get around 5200 blocks written out (for a 152M
    file).
    Note that a du on it shows it to use 155352, so it isn't that it is sparse.

    Is vmstat an unreliable measure? The above tests were on a 2216 system.

    -l

    --
    L A Walsh | Trust Technology, Core Linux, SGI
    law@sgi.com | Voice/Vmail: (650) 933-5338

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