UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improving disk read performance through block-level replication into free space Lifchits, Andrei


Disk performance for random access fares significantly worse compared to sequential access. Time required to transfer random blocks to or from disk is dominated by seeking and rotational delay. To improve the throughput and reduce the latency, one can apply techniques to increase the sequentiality of disk accesses, such as block rearrangement and replication. We introduce an approach to improve read performance by replicating blocks into file system free space at the block level. This makes the replication module independent of the file system and therefore easier to implement and verify. A solution that requires no changes to the file system is also easier to adopt. Supporting a new file system is a matter of writing a user-space component that understands its free block data structures. We implemented a prototype as a stacked device driver for Linux and evaluated its performance on a number of workloads.

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