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    SubjectRe: Readahead value 128K? (was Re: Drastic Slowdown of 'fseek()' Calls From 2.4 to 2.6 -- VMM Change?)
    Date
    On Tuesday 07 March 2006 4:15pm, Linda Walsh wrote:
    > Marr wrote:
    > > On Sunday 05 March 2006 6:02pm, Linda Walsh wrote:
    > >> Does this happen with a seek call as well, or is this limited
    > >> to fseek?
    > >>
    > >> if you look at "hdparm's" idea of read-ahead, what does it say
    > >> for the device?. I.e.:
    > >>
    > >> hdparm /dev/hda:
    > >>
    > >> There is a line entitled "readahead". What does it say?
    > >
    > > Linda,
    > >
    > > I don't know (based on your email addressing) if you were directing this
    > > question at me, but since I'm the guy who originally reported this issue,
    > > here are my 'hdparm' results on my (standard Slackware 10.2) ReiserFS
    > > filesystem:
    > >
    > > 2.6.13 (with 'nolargeio=1' for reiserfs mount):
    > > readahead = 256 (on)
    > >
    > > 2.6.13 (without 'nolargeio=1' for reiserfs mount):
    > > readahead = 256 (on)
    > >
    > > 2.4.31 ('nolargeio' option irrelevant/unavailable for 2.4.x):
    > > readahead = 8 (on)
    > >
    > > *** Please CC: me on replies -- I'm not subscribed.
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > > Bill Marr
    >
    > --------
    > Could you retry your test with read-ahead set to a smaller
    > value? Say the same as in 2.4 (8) or 16 and see if that changes
    > anything?
    >
    > hdparm -a8 /dev/hdx
    > or
    > hdparm -a16 /dev/hdx

    Linda (et al),

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I finally got a chance to run another test (but
    on a different machine than the last time, so don't try to compare old timing
    numbers with these numbers).

    I went ahead and tried all permutations, just to be sure. As before, these
    reported times are all for 200,000 random 'fseek()' calls on the same
    zero-filled 4MB file on a standard Slackware 10.2 ReiserFS partition and
    kernels.

    (Values shown for 'readahead' are set by 'hdparm -a## /dev/hda' command.)

    -----------------------------------
    Timing Results:

    On 2.6.13, *without* 'nolargeio=1': 4m35s (ouch!) for _all_ variants (256, 16,
    8) of 'readahead'

    On 2.6.13, _with_ 'nolargeio=1': 0m6s for _all_ variants (256, 16, 8) of
    'readahead'

    On 2.4.31: 0m6s for _all_ variants (128 [256 is illegal -- 'BLKRASET failed:
    Invalid argument'], 16, 8) of 'readahead'

    -----------------------------------

    I half-expected to see improvement for the '2.6.13 without nolargeio=1' case
    when lowering the read-ahead from 256 sectors to 16 or 8 sectors, but there
    clearly was no improvement whatsoever.

    I tried turning 'readahead' off entirely ('hdparm -A0 /dev/hda') and, although
    it correctly reported "setting drive read-lookahead to 0 (off)", an immediate
    follow-on query ('hdparm /dev/hda') showed that it was still ON ("readahead =
    256 (on)")! I went ahead and ran the test again anyway and (unsurprisingly)
    got the same excessive times (4m35s) for 200K seeks.

    Confused, but still (for now) happily using the 'nolargeio=1' workaround with
    all my 2.6.13 kernels with ReiserFS.... :^/

    *** Please CC: me on replies -- I'm not subscribed.

    Regards,
    Bill Marr
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