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KernelTrap: Interview: Nick Piggin

May 29, 2003, 08:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeremy Andrews)

"Nick Piggin, a college student living in Canberra Australia, has been working on an anticipatory I/O scheduler for the Linux kernel.

"When a process reads data from a disk, the default 'deadline' I/O scheduler can offer poor performance if a streamed write is happening at the same time. The reason is that many read operations require multiple reads, each reporting a result back before the next can be scheduled. Thus, each of these reads has to wait behind a queue of writes, resulting in the aforementioned performance problem. The anticipatory scheduler solves this problem nicely by pausing for a few milliseconds after each read, 'anticipating' the next read request.

"In this interview, Nick offers much more detail behind the operation of the anticipatory scheduler. His goal is to stablize and tune the new scheduler, aiming utimately for inclusion into the 2.5 development kernel tree as the default Linux I/O scheduler. The latest version of Nick's anticipatory scheduler can be found in Andrew Morton's -mm kernel branch..."

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