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USENIX 2003 Annual Technical Conference, FREENIX Track — Abstract
Pp. 101-114 of the Proceedings

NFS Tricks and Benchmarking Traps

Daniel Ellard and Margo Seltzer Harvard University


We describe two modifications to the FreeBSD 4.6 NFS server to increase read throughput by improving the read-ahead heuristic to deal with reordered requests and stride access patterns. We show that for some stride access patterns, our new heuristics improve end-to-end NFS throughput by nearly a factor of two. We also show that benchmarking and experimenting with changes to an NFS server can be a subtle and challenging task, and that it is often difficult to distinguish the impact of a new algorithm or heuristic from the quirks of the underlying software and hardware with which they interact. We discuss these quirks and their potential effects.
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Last changed: 7 Nov. 2003 jel
Technical Program
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