Re: [PATCH] readahead even for FMODE_RANDOM
From: Jens Axboe
Date: Fri Apr 02 2010 - 02:59:33 EST
On Fri, Apr 02 2010, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 02, 2010 at 02:38:30PM +0800, Jens Axboe wrote:
> > On Fri, Apr 02 2010, Wu Fengguang wrote:
> > > Hi Jens,
> > >
> > > On Fri, Apr 02, 2010 at 02:31:51AM +0800, Jens Axboe wrote:
> > > > Hi,
> > > >
> > > > I got a problem report with fio where larger block size random reads
> > > > where markedly slower with buffered IO than with O_DIRECT, and the
> > > > initial thought was that perhaps this was some fio oddity. The reporter
> > > > eventually discovered that turning off the fadvise hint made it work
> > > > fine. So I took a look, and it seems we never do readahead for
> > > > FMODE_RANDOM even if the request size is larger than 1 page. That seems
> > > > like a bug, if an application is doing eg 16kb random reads, you want to
> > > > readahead the 12kb remaining data. On devices where smaller transfer
> > > > sizes are slower than larger ones, this can make a large difference.
> > > >
> > > > This patch makes us readahead even for FMODE_RANDOM, iff we'll be
> > > > reading more pages in that single read. I ran a quick test here, and it
> > > > appears to fix the problem (no difference with fadvise POSIX_FADV_RANDOM
> > > > being passed in or not).
> > >
> > > I guess the application is doing (at least partial) sequential reads,
> > > while at the same time tell kernel with POSIX_FADV_RANDOM that it's
> > > doing random reads.
> > >
> > > If so, it's mainly the application's fault.
> > The application is doing large random reads. It's purely random, so
> > the POSIX_FADV_RANDOM hint is correct. However, thinking about it, it
> How large is it? For random reads > read_ahead_kb,
> ondemand_readahead() will break it into read_ahead_kb sized IOs, while
> force_page_cache_readahead() won't. That may impact IO performance.
The test case was 128kb random reads. So should still be within the
normal read_ahead_kb. I suspect the reporter would not have noticed if
the issue size was as large as read_ahead_kb even if the request size
was larger, the problem was that he ended up seeing 4kb ios only.
> > may be that we later hit a random "block" that has now been cached due
> > to this read-ahead. Let me try and rule that out completely and see if
> > there's still the difference. The original reporter observed 4kb reads
> > hitting the driver, where 128kb was expected.
> 4kb reads hit the disk (on POSIX_FADV_RANDOM)? That sounds like
> behavior in pre .34 kernels that is fixed by commit 0141450f66c:
> readahead: introduce FMODE_RANDOM for POSIX_FADV_RANDOM
Could explain why I'm not reproducing when doing a quick test on the
laptop. It is an older kernel. So it could be that I'm just imaging the
issue on the current kernel, I don't have hard data to back it up on
So disregard the patch for now, part-sequential behaviour on
POSIX_FADV_RANDOM isn't the issue here.
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