Filesystem I/O at the Linux Plumbers Conference
graph from software raid, RAID10, no partition table, ext3, read-write load

If you haven’t heard, the Linux Plumbers Conference is happening September 17-19, 2008 in Portland, OR. It’s a gathering designed to attract Linux developers – kernel hackers, tool developers and problem solvers.

A few of us that met through the Portland PostgreSQL User Group (PDXPUG) pitched an idea for a talk on filesystem performance. We wanted to examine performance conventional wisdom and put it to the test on some sweet new hardware, recently donated for performance testing Postgres. We’re asking questions like: Is RAID5 really the worst performing configuration for a database? How much does partition alignment really matter? Is there one Linux filesystem that a DBA should always choose for best performance under any load? Is adaptive readahead all that?

Our talk was accepted, so we’ve been furiously gathering data, and drawing interesting conclusions, ever since. Gabrielle Roth and I are presenting, using the results of extensive testing conducted by Mark Wong, a database benchmarking expert and author of pg_top. We’ll be sharing 6 different assumptions about filesystem performance, tested on five different filesystems, under five types of loads generated by fio, a benchmarking tool designed by kernel hacker Jens Axboe to test I/O.

twittering on 2008-09-05

  • Are you going to Side Project to Startup next fri/sat? Let the organizers know! #
  • we’re here at PSU in room 86-04 (BASEMENT) in the engineering building (college and 4th) (in portland) to talk about USER GROUPS! woo! #
  • @markwkm PLUG was great. had ~40 people, great questions, lots of good energy, inspired at least one person to be a PLUG speaker. #
  • whoa – inventor of mysql quit Sun: #
  • @Theory 🙂 he seems like a cool guy. I appreciated the black vodka he shared with the postgresql bof at OSCON. #
  • more discussion of monty’s departure from @sheeri: #
  • thinking of heading out to @beerandblog #

twittering on 2008-09-04

  • @timoreilly preach it! seriously! OMG! YES! can we stop talking about the mom factor now and focus on how freaking scary her beliefs are? #
  • seriously disappointed in the twittersphere this evening. #
  • lets talk about real stuff like: taxes, health care, SCIENCE #
  • @verso @johnmark YES! can we please make teaching SCIENCE, MUSIC, MATH and CIVICS priorities in our schools? #
  • @thesethings 😀 >squinting< nope. doesn’t believe in darwinism, thinks gays don’t deserve same rights and pro death penalty (but p … #
  • @brianaker hell yes! please bring back shop class. #
  • @verso they just need more 🙂 i’ve never talked to a public school teacher or administrator who complained they had too much money. #
  • @verso they tell me about who had to be let go, and wonder how they’re going to buy supplies for all the kids who can’t afford them 🙁 #
  • @xolotl your genius is underappreciated. #
  • @ahockley different funding sources, but well played, sir! #
  • issue I’m very interested in: service –; looking forward to reading about mccain’s views #
  • @ahockley next levy, i’ll help you go door to door. i’m not kidding. #
  • @johnabbe thanks – here’s the URL i meant to pass on: candidates on SCIENCE #
  • feeling much better today. #
  • listening to reggaeton from panama. #

User Groups redux

lousy cup!
actually, i love this cup. thanks, eric! 🙂

It’s a bit late for an “announcement”, but Gabrielle and I are re-presenting the User Groups talk to the Portland Linux Users Group tonight. We’re all about audience participation, and so we’re going to focus on helping PLUG pick a few topics and presenters for upcoming meetings. And whatever else they want to talk about 🙂

Meeting starts at 7pm and here’s where:

Fariborz Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science Building
Room FAB 86-01 (This is in the basement.)
The building is on SW 4th across from SW College Street.
See location H-10 on map at

Beer afterward at Jax!

Jax Bar And Restaurant
826 SW 2nd Avenue

twittering on 2008-09-03

  • @AaronThul welcome back 🙂 #
  • take that, giant file of doom. #
  • @rorowe same boat. 🙁 #
  • OH: they’re trying to put maverick and moose into the whitehouse! #
  • ugh. that wiring project is gonna have to wait until the morning. #
  • @operatic i live in a very punny household. #
  • what is up with the colds this year? did i really need to get another one? #
  • @gchaix ugh. hitting the ibuprofen. #
  • @zrusilla *shudder* #

twittering on 2008-09-02

  • paint is drying! settling in with some tea to hack on ptop #
  • @adamd congrats!!! looking good. #
  • Chrome: emacs for the internet? “we’re applying the same kind of process isolation you find in modern operating systems” 😀 #
  • the chrome comic book is really cute. #
  • @kcomandich suddenly, i’m remembering _Maximum Overdrive_. when operating systems attack! #
  • @ramereth bike commute challenge FTW! #

twittering on 2008-09-01

  • considering the best way to drill a hole into the house for the new phone line. #
  • @garethgreenaway good advice – just in time for fall! #
  • wisdom from father-in-law: drill from the INSIDE. good thing i hadn’t started yet. #
  • SO EXCITED that i just drilled a hole to the OUTSIDE! and i didn’t break any siding! #