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Disk I/O Tuning

Chapter 3: ATA Tuning in LINUX

  • with a chosen set of configuration settings.  In practice, all that is typically necessary to test a configuration (prior to using k) is to verify  the drive can be read/written, and no error logs (kernel messages) are generated in the process (look in /var/adm/messages on most systems)

  • -K

    - Set the drive's keep_features_over_reset flag.  Setting this enables the drive to retain the settings for -APSWXZ over a soft reset (as done during the error recovery sequence).  Not all drives support this feature.
  • -m

    - Get/set sector count for multiple sector I/O on the drive.  A setting of 0 disables this feature.  Multiple sector mode ( IDE Block Mode) is a feature of most modern IDE hard drives, permitting the transfer of multiple sectors per I/O interrupt, rather than the usual one sector per interrupt.  When this feature is enabled, it typically reduces operating system overhead for disk I/O by 30-50%.  On many systems, it also provides increased data throughput of anywhere from 5% to 50%.  HOWEVER, some drives, most notably the WD Caviar series, seem to run slower with multiple mode enabled.  Your mileage may vary.  Most drives support the minimum settings of 2, 4, 8, or 16 (sectors).  Larger settings may also be possible, depending on the drive.  A setting of 16 or 32 seems optimal on many systems.  Western Digital recommends lower settings of 4 to 8 on many of their drives, due to tiny (32kB) drive buffers and non-optimized buffering algorithms.  The -i flag can be used to find the maximum setting supported by an installed drive (look for MaxMultSect in the output).  Some drives

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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