Modeling and optimizing I/O throughput of multiple disks on a bus (summary)

Rakesh Barve, Elizabeth Shriver, Phillip B. Gibbons, Bruce K. Hillyer, Yossi Matias, Jeffrey Scott Vitter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For a wide variety of computational tasks, disk I/O continues to be a serious obstacle to high performance. The focus of the present paper is on systems that use multiple disks per SCSI bus. We measured the performance of concurrent random I/Os, and observed bus-related phenomena that impair performance. We describe these phenomena, and present a new I/O performance model that accurately predicts the average bandwidth achieved by a heavy workload of random reads from disks on a SCSI bus. This model, although relatively simple, predicts performance on several platforms to within 12% for I/O sizes in the range 16-128 KB. We describe a technique to improve the I/O bandwidth by 10-20% for random-access workloads that have large I/Os and high concurrency. This technique increases the percentage of disk head positioning time that is overlapped with data transfers, and increases the percentage of transfers that occur at bus bandwidth, rather than at disk-head bandwidth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-267
Number of pages4
JournalPerformance Evaluation Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1998


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