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SubjectRe: linux-2.4.10-pre5
Date
On September 11, 2001 05:48 pm, Linus Torvalds wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Sep 2001, Daniel Phillips wrote:
> >
> > But see my post in this thread where I created a simple test to show that,
> > even when we pre-read *all* the inodes in a directory, there is no great
> > performance win.
>
> Note that I suspect that because the inode tree _is_ fairly dense, you
> don't actually need to do much read-ahead in most cases. Simply because
> you automatically do read-ahead _always_: when somebody reads a 128-byte
> inode, you (whether you like it or not) always "read-ahead" the 31 inodes
> around it on a 4kB filesystem.
>
> So we _already_ do read-ahead by a "factor of 31". Whether we can improve
> that or not by increasing it to 63 inodes, who knows?
>
> I actually think that the "start read-ahead for inode blocks when you do
> readdir" might be a bigger win, because that would be a _new_ kind of
> read-ahead that we haven't done before, and might improve performance for
> things like "ls -l" in the cold-cache situation..

But wait, if our theories are correct then the disk is doing physical
readahead anyway, and its a nice scsi disk with lots of cache, so *why does
it take so long to read the metadata*? It's about 11,000 files, that's
1.3Meg of inodes and just a couple hundred K of directories.

There is clearly something nonoptimal about the hardware readahead and/or
caching.

> (Although again, because the inode is relatively small to the IO cache
> size, it's probably fairly _hard_ to get a fully cold-cache inode case. So
> I'm not sure even that kind of read-ahead would actually make any
> difference at all).

--
Daniel
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