Part VI Tuning for Performance and Scalability in .NET framework

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Part VI Tuning for Performance and Scalability
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The -t option tells hdparam to report stats on the drive (/dev/hda) by reading data not in the cache Run this command a few times and take an average of the MB/sec reported for your drive This is roughly the performance state of your drive subsystem In this example, the 371MB/sec is the read performance, which is quite low
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Improving your drive s performance
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Now let s try to improve the performance of your drive Go back to the hdparam -i /dev/hda command output (see the previous section if you ve no idea what I m referring to) and look for MaxMultSect value In this example, it is 16 The hdparam /dev/hda command showed the multcount value as 0 (off) This means that multiple sector mode (that is, IDE block mode) is turned off The multiple-sector mode is a feature of most modern IDE hard drives It enables the drive to transfer multiple drive sectors per I/O interrupt By default, it is off However, most modern drives can perform 2, 4, 8, or 16 sector transfers per I/O interrupt So, if you set this mode to the maximum possible value for your drive, which is shown by the MaxMultiSect value, you should see a throughput increase of anywhere from 5 percent to 50 percent or more Also, you will reduce the operating system overhead by 30 to 50 percent In this example, the MaxMultiSect value is 16, so we can use the -m option of the hdparam tool to set this and to see whether performance increases Run the following command:
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/usr/local/sbin/hdparm -m16 /dev/hda
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Now run the performance test using the hdparam -tT /dev/hda command to see the change For the example system, the change is as follows:
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/dev/hda: Timing buffer-cache reads: Timing buffered disk reads: 128 MB in 101 seconds = 12673 MB/sec 64 MB in 1653 seconds = 387 MB/sec
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The performance of the drive has risen from 371 MB/sec to 387 MB/sec Not much, but not bad You are likely to see a change similar to this Chances are you can do much better than that with your drive if your drive and controller are fairly new You can probably achieve 20 to 30 MB/sec! Be forewarned, however: when poking around with hdparam you might damage your data, so always backup your data before playing with the more drive hardware-specific options discussed below If hdparam reported that the I/O support setting is 16-bit for your system, and you have a fairly new (one or two years old) drive subsystem, you should try 32-bit I/O support You can set this by using the -c option for hdparam, which has three values:
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0 Enables default 16-bit I/O support 1 Enables 32-bit support 3 Enables 32-bit support with a special synchronization sequence required by many IDE/EIDE chipset It is also the value that works well with most systems
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You set the options as follows:
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/usr/local/sbin/hdparm -m16 -c3 /dev/hda
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Notice that the -m16 option was used as well as the -c3 option to enable 32-bit I/O support Running the program with the -t option shows the following results:
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/dev/hda: Timing buffered disk reads: 64 MB in 896 seconds = 714 MB/sec
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As you can see, the performance of the drive subsystem practically doubled! However, you should be able to improve performance even more For example, if your drive supports direct memory access (DMA) you might be able to use the -d option, which enables DMA mode Typically, -d1 -X32 options or -d1 -X66 options are used together to take advantage of the DMA capabilities of your drive subsystem The first set of options (-d1 -X32) enables the multiword DMA mode2 for the drive, and the next set of options (-d1 -X66) enables UltraDMA mode2 for drives that support the UltraDMA burst timing feature These options can dramatically increase your drive s performance I have seen 20 MB/sec transfer rates with these options on various new EIDE/ATA drives There is another option, -u1, which can be very useful for increasing overall system performance This option enables the disk driver to unmask other interrupts during processing of a disk interrupt, which means that the operating system can attend to other interrupts such as the network I/O, serial I/O, and so on, while waiting for a disk-based data transfer to finish There are many more hdparam options that you can set and experiment with; however, be very cautious about most of the options because there is a good chance that you may corrupt data Always back up data before playing with hdparam tool Also, after you have found that a set of options works well, you should put the hdparam command with those options in the /etc/rcd/rclocal script so that they are set every time you boot the system For example, I added the following line to the /etc/rcd/rclocal file in one of my newer Red Hat Linux systems:
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