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SubjectRe: linux-2.4.10-pre5

On Mon, 10 Sep 2001, Rik van Riel wrote:
> >
> > Pre-loading your cache always depends on some limited portion of
> > prescience.
>
> OTOH, agressively pre-loading metadata should be ok in a lot
> of cases, because metadata is very small, but wastes about
> half of our disk time because of the seeks ...

I actually agree to some degree here. The main reason I agree is that
meta-data often is (a) known to be physically contiguous (so pre-fecthing
is easy and cheap on most hardwate) and (b) meta-data _is_ small, so you
don't have to prefetch very much (so pre-fetching is not all that
expensive).

Trying to read two or more pages of inode data whenever we fetch an inode
might not be a bad idea, for example. Either we fetch a _lot_ of inodes
(in which case the prefetching is very likely to get a hit anyway), or we
don't (in which case the prefetching is unlikely to hurt all that much
either). You don't easily get into a situation where you prefetch a lot
without gaining anything.

We might do other kinds of opportunistic pre-fetching, like have "readdir"
start prefetching for the inode data it finds. That miht be a win for many
loads (and it might be a loss too - there _are_ loads that really only
care about the filename, although I suspect they are fairly rare).

Linus

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