AbstractLow disk throughput is one of the main impediments to improving the performance of data-intensive servers. In this paper, we propose two management techniques for the disk controller cache that can significantly increase disk throughput. The first technique, called File-Oriented Read-ahead (FOR), adjusts the number of read-ahead blocks brought into the disk controller cache according to file system information. The second technique, called Host-guided Device Caching (HDC), gives the host control over part of the disk controller cache. As an example use of this mechanism, we keep the blocks that cause the most misses in the host buffer cache permanently cached in the disk controller. Our detailed simulations of real server workloads show that FOR and HDC can increase disk throughput by up to 34% and 24%, respectively, in comparison to conventional disk controller cache management techniques. When combined, the techniques can increase throughput by up to 47%.
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