Evaluating Performance and Energy in File System Server Workloads

TitleEvaluating Performance and Energy in File System Server Workloads
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsSehgal, Priya, Tarasov Vasily, and Zadok Erez
Conference NameUSENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '10)
Date Published07/2011
Conference LocationOrlando, FL

Recently, power has emerged as a critical factor in designing components of storage systems, especially for power-hungry data centers. While there is some research into power-aware storage stack components, there are no systematic studies evaluating each component’s impact separately. This paper evaluates the file system’s impact on energy consumption and performance. We studied several popular Linux file systems, with various mount and format options, using the FileBench workload generator to emulate four server workloads: Web, database, mail, and file server. In case of a server node consisting of a single disk, CPU power generally exceeds diskpower consumption. However, file system design, implementation, and available features have a significant effect on CPU/disk utilization, and hence on performance and power. We discovered that default file system options are often suboptimal, and even poor. We show that a careful matching of expected workloads to file system types and options can improve power-performance efficiency by a factor ranging from 1.05 to 9.4 times.