Modern file systems are well equipped to deal with large writes. One area that remains challenging however is to efficiently write out “microdata”, such as metadata and small portions of large files, while showing good I/O utilization when the data is read back. This challenge is evident with mount options like “noatime” which disables updating file access time on reads. This kind of solution avoids the problem altogether. Another approach, delayed allocation, is meant to coalesce small writes in memory as long as possible before writing it out to disk. Filesystems like ext4 and Btrfs use delayed allocation to make a best-effort at reducing fragmentation and random I/O.
Isn’t there a way to fundamentally solve filesystem fragmentation and random I/O?
This week, I’ll be speaking at[Read more...]