Read Optimized File Systems: A Performance Evaluation

Margo Seltzer, Michael Stonebraker

Abstract

This paper presents a performance comparison of several file system allocation policies. The file systems are designed to provide high bandwidth between disks and main memory by taking advantage of parallelism in an underlying disk array, cateringv to large units of transfer, and minimizing the bandwidth dedicated to the transfer of meta data. All of the file systems described use a multiblock allocation strategy that allows both large and small files to be allocated efficiently. Simulation results show that these multiblock policies result in systems that are able to utilize a large percentage of the underlying disk bandwidth; more than 90% in sequential cases. As general purpose systems are called upon to support more data intensive applications such as databases and supercomputing, these policies offer an opportunity to provide superior performance to a larger class of users.
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