Optimizing Energy and Performance for Server-Class File System Workloads

TitleOptimizing Energy and Performance for Server-Class File System Workloads
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSehgal, Priya, Tarasov Vasily, and Zadok Erez
JournalACM Transactions on Storage (TOS '10)
Date Published09/2010

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. Various factors like workloads, hardware configurations, and software configurations impact the performance and energy efficiency of the system. This article 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 fileserver, on two different hardware configurations. The 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. In this article we show that a careful matching of expected workloads and hardware configuration to a single software configuration—the file system—can improve power-performance efficiency by a factor ranging from 1.05 to 9.4 times.