Track-aligned Extents: Matching Access Patterns to Disk Drive Characteristics (CMU-CS-01-119)
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2002 by Jiri Schindler, John Linwood Griffin, Christopher R. Lumb, Gregory R. Ganger
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Track-aligned extents (traxtents) utilize disk-specific knowledge to match access patterns to the strengths of modern disks. By allocating and accessing related data on disk track boundaries, a system can avoid most rotational latency and track crossing overheads. Avoiding these overheads can increase disk access efficiency by up to 50% for mid-sized requests (100-500 KB). This paper describes traxtents, algorithms for detecting track boundaries, and some uses of traxtents in file systems and video servers. For large-file workloads, a version of FreeBSD’s FFS implementation that exploits traxtents reduces application run times by up to 20% compared to the original version. A video server using traxtent-based requests can support 56% more concurrent streams at the same startup latency and buffer space. For LFS, 44% lower overall write cost for track-sized segments can be achieved.