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Selecting and Tuning a Scheduler

May 11, 2009, 23:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Rubens)

"The obvious first question that must be answered is this: Which scheduler should you use? It's a deceptively difficult question, and the answer will depend on many inter-related factors, including the applications running, the size of the files you are read and writing, the frequency of your file read and writes, and the pattern of these reads and writes. The only thing that can be said with much certainty is that unless you are using a solid state drive or RAM disk — which can access all files equally fast — the noop scheduler is the worst choice. The other, active schedulers should all perform better than noop with conventional spinning disks.

"There's some evidence that when many different types of applications are requesting many different types of disk reads and writes the deadline scheduler is the best all-round performer, but in the end the best course of action is probably to test all three active schedulers and choose the one that gives the best results.

"So once you've chosen a scheduler to test, how do you get your system to use it? There two primary ways to do this: at boot through a configuration file or on the fly from the command line. The examples we use here work for Red Hat Enterprise Linux but should be similar for any distribution you happen to be using."

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