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Disk I/O Tuning

Chapter 3: ATA Tuning in LINUX

When no flags are given, acdgkmnru is assumed.

  • -a

    - Get/set sector count for file system read-ahead.  This is used to improve performance in sequential reads of large files by pre-fetching additional blocks in anticipation of them being needed by the running task.  In the current kernel version (2.0.10), this has a default setting of 8 sectors (4KB).  This value seems good for most purposes, but in a system where most file accesses are random seeks, a smaller setting might provide better performance.  Also, many IDE drives have a separate built-in read-ahead function, which alleviates the need for a file system read-ahead in many situations.
  • -A

    - Disable/enable the IDE drive's read-look ahead feature (usually ON by default).
  • -B

    - Set Advanced Power Management feature, if the drive supports it.  A low value means aggressive power management and a high value means better performance.  A value of 255 will disable apm (automatic power management) on the drive.  When a drive spins down due to reaching its apm timeout, it may take up to 30 seconds to respond to the first request after the timeout.
  • -c

    - Query/enable (E) IDE 32-bit I/O support.  A numeric parameter can be used to enable/disable 32-bit I/O support:  

The above text is an excerpt from:

Oracle Disk I/O Tuning
Disk IO Performance & Optimization for Oracle Databases



by Mike Ault

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