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Re: Setting behavior for clustered IO

From: Sergio López
Subject: Re: Setting behavior for clustered IO
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 00:00:02 +0200

2012/4/2 Samuel Thibault <samuel.thibault@gnu.org>:
> Sergio Lopez, le Mon 02 Apr 2012 17:09:08 +0200, a écrit :
>> El Mon, 02 Apr 2012 00:23:03 +0300
>> Maksym Planeta <mcsim.planeta@gmail.com> escribió:
>> > This function allows user advise the kernel about how to handle paging
>> > input/output in specified memory range. There are several behaviors,
>> > fault handler's point of view these behaviors differ only in size of
>> > memory chunk that will be read ahead.
>> I don't think the kernel should be the one to be advised, but the
>> filesystem translators. These are the ones who really know current and
>> future (as they control most of the operations) state of the object,
> Do they really?  We discussed about it with neal a long time ago, and we
> believed that Mach was at a better position, because it knows about
> each and every mapping. Say for instance that two processes map the same
> file, and access it concurrently, but in a different way. AIUI, the
> translators will get data requests without indication of what mapping is
> pulling it, and thus no correlation between them, thus seemingly
> random.

In some cases, Mach can do a better job at finding a pattern in the
operations over a mmap'ed object. But this can be only used as a hint,
as only the pager has the information to know if a certain page
request would be fulfilled (Mach only knows the object size, which is
provided by the translator via m_o_change_attributes and could even be

Sometimes the translator is able to detect a pattern that Mach can't.
This is the case when receiving large write requests over a new or
truncated file. And with clustered pageins, it could be desirable to
increase both object and cluster size to be able to coalesce pager
faults and m_o_data_unlock requests.

Ideally, both pager and Mach should know about the hint given by the
user via madvise and cooperate to pick the better access policy for an
object. But I think an initial implementation with support for a
variable cluster size is enough as a start, while fine grained
policies and heuristics can be implemented later after careful
analysis of their non evident implications.

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