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    Subjectfilesystem benchmarking fun
    Hello everyone,

    I've been spending some time lately on filesystem benchmarking, in part
    because my pet FS project is getting more stable and closer to release.
    Now seems like a good time to step back and try to find out what
    workloads we think are most important and see how well Linux is doing on
    them. So, I'll start with my favorite three benchmarks and why I think
    they matter. Over time I hope to collect a bunch of results for all of
    us to argue about.

    * fio: http://brick.kernel.dk/snaps/
    Fio can abuse a file via just about every api in the kernel. aio, dio,
    syslets, splice etc. It can thread, fork, record and playback traces
    and provides good numbers for throughput and latencies on various
    sequential and random io loads.

    * fs_mark: http://developer.osdl.org/dev/doubt/fs_mark/index.html
    This one covers most of the 'use the FS as a database' type workloads,
    and can vary the number of files, directory depth etc. It has detailed
    timings for reads, writes, unlinks and fsyncs that make it good for
    simulating mail servers and other setups.

    * compilebench: http://oss.oracle.com/~mason/compilebench/
    Tries to benchmark the filesystem allocator by aging the FS through
    simulated kernel compiles, patch runs and other operations.

    It's easy to get caught up in one benchmark or another and try to use
    them for bragging rights. But, what I want to do is talk about the
    workloads we're trying to optimize for and our current methods for
    measuring success. If we don't have good benchmarks for a given
    workload, I'd like to try and collect ideas on how to make one.

    For example, I'll pick on xfs for a minute. compilebench shows the
    default FS you get from mkfs.xfs is pretty slow for untarring a bunch of
    kernel trees. Dave Chinner gave me some mount options that make it
    dramatically better, but it still writes at 10MB/s on a sata drive that
    can do 80MB/s. Ext3 is better, but still only 20MB/s.

    Both are presumably picking a reasonable file and directory layout.
    Still, our writeback algorithms are clearly not optimized for this kind
    of workload. Should we fix it?

    -chris

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