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SubjectRe: Linux 2.6.29
Ric Wheeler wrote:
> Linus Torvalds wrote:
..
>> That's one of the issues. The cost of those flushes can be really
>> quite high, and as mentioned, in the absense of redundancy you don't
>> actually get the guarantees that you seem to think that you get.
>
> I have measured the costs of the write flushes on a variety of devices,
> routinely, a cache flush is on the order of 10-20 ms with a healthy
> s-ata drive.
..

Err, no. Yes, the flush itself will be very quick,
since the drive is nearly always keeping up with the I/O
already (as we are discussing in a separate subthread here!).

But.. the cost of that FLUSH_CACHE command can be quite significant.
To issue it, we first have to stop accepting R/W requests,
and then wait for up to 32 of them currently in-flight to complete.
Then issue the cache-flush, and wait for that to complete.

Then resume R/W again.

And FLUSH_CACHE is a PIO command for most libata hosts,
so it has a multi-microsecond CPU hit as well as the I/O hit,
whereas regular R/W commands will usually use less CPU because
they are usually done via an automated host command queue.

Tiny, but significant. And more so on smaller/slower end-user systems
like netbooks than on datacenter servers, perhaps.

Cheers


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