Linux AIO Performance and Robustness for Enterprise Workloads

In this paper we address some of the issues identified during the development and stabilization of Asynchronous I/O (AIO) on Linux 2.6.

We start by describing improvements made to optimize the throughput of streaming buffered filesystem AIO for microbenchmark runs. Next, we discuss certain tricky issues in ensuring data integrity between AIO Direct I/O (DIO) and buffered I/O, and take a deeper look at synchronized I/O guarantees, concurrent I/O, write-ordering issues and the improvements resulting from radix-tree based writeback changes in the Linux VFS.

We then investigate the results of using Linux 2.6 filesystem AIO on the performance metrics for certain enterprise database workloads which are expected to benefit from AIO, and mention a few tips on optimizing AIO for such workloads. Finally, we briefly discuss the issues around workloads that need to combine asynchronous disk I/O and network I/O.

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