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SubjectRe: [PATCH] readahead: fix sequential read cache miss detection
On Thu, 17 Oct 2013 20:09:12 +0200 Damien Ramonda <damien.ramonda@intel.com> wrote:

> The kernel's readahead algorithm sometimes interprets random read
> accesses as sequential and triggers unnecessary data prefecthing
> from storage device (impacting random read average latency).
>
> In order to identify sequential cache read misses, the readahead
> algorithm intends to check whether offset - previous offset == 1
> (trivial sequential reads) or offset - previous offset == 0
> (sequential reads not aligned on page boundary):
>
> if (offset - (ra->prev_pos >> PAGE_CACHE_SHIFT) <= 1UL)
>
> The current offset is stored in the "offset" variable of type
> "pgoff_t" (unsigned long), while previous offset is stored in
> "ra->prev_pos" of type "loff_t" (long long). Therefore,
> operands of the if statement are implicitly converted to type
> long long. Consequently, when previous offset > current offset
> (which happens on random pattern), the if condition is true
> and access is wrongly interpeted as sequential. An unnecessary
> data prefetching is triggered, impacting the average
> random read latency.
>
> Storing the previous offset value in a "pgoff_t" variable
> (unsigned long) fixes the sequential read detection logic.

Do you have any performance testing results which would permit
people to understand the significance of this change?

Thanks.


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