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Date:	Fri, 18 Jan 2008 12:15:42 +1100
From:	David Chinner <>
To:	Valerie Henson <>
Cc:,,, "Theodore Ts'o" <>,
	Andreas Dilger <>,
	Ric Wheeler <>
Subject: Re: [RFC] Parallelize IO for e2fsck

On Wed, Jan 16, 2008 at 01:30:43PM -0800, Valerie Henson wrote:
> Hi y'all,
> This is a request for comments on the rewrite of the e2fsck IO
> parallelization patches I sent out a few months ago.  The mechanism is
> totally different.  Previously IO was parallelized by issuing IOs from
> multiple threads; now a single thread issues fadvise(WILLNEED) and
> then uses read() to complete the IO.


We ultimately rejected a similar patch to xfs_repair (pre-population
the kernel block device cache) mainly because of low memory
performance issues and it doesn't really enable you to do anything
particularly smart with optimising I/O patterns for larger, high
performance RAID arrays.

The low memory problems were particularly bad; the readahead
thrashing cause a slowdown of 2-3x compared to the baseline and
often it was due to the repair process requiring all of memory
to cache stuff it would need later. IIRC, multi-terabyte ext3
filesystems have similar memory usage problems to XFS, so there's
a good chance that this patch will see the same sorts of issues.

> Single disk performance doesn't change, but elapsed time drops by
> about 50% on a big RAID-5 box.  Passes 1 and 2 are parallelized.  Pass
> 5 is left as an exercise for the reader.

Promising results, though....


Dave Chinner
Principal Engineer
SGI Australian Software Group
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