OSDI '06 Abstract
Pp. 1–14 of the Proceedings
Awarded Best Paper!
Rethink the Sync
Edmund B. Nightingale, Kaushik Veeraraghavan, Peter M. Chen, and Jason Flinn, University of Michigan
We introduce external synchrony, a new model for local file I/O
that provides the reliability and simplicity of synchronous I/O, yet
also closely approximates the performance of asynchronous I/O. An
external observer cannot distinguish the output of a computer with an
externally synchronous file system from the output of a computer with a
synchronous file system. No application modification is required to
use an externally synchronous file system: in fact, application developers
can program to the simpler synchronous I/O abstraction and still
receive excellent performance. We have implemented an externally
synchronous file system for Linux, called xsyncfs. Xsyncfs
provides the same durability and ordering guarantees as those provided
by a synchronously mounted ext3 file system. Yet, even for
I/O-intensive benchmarks, xsyncfs performance is within 7% of ext3
mounted asynchronously. Compared to ext3 mounted synchronously,
xsyncfs is up to two orders of magnitude faster.
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