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Hot-Data Tracking Still Baking For The Linux Kernel

Linux Kernel

Published on 22 December 2012 09:08 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel
12 Comments

A few months ago I wrote about hot-data tracking for the Linux kernel, a VFS feature that could be used by Btrfs and other Linux file-systems for delivering improved performance. Unfortunately the patch-set didn't make the new Linux 3.8 development cycle, but hot-data tracking is still being worked on for merging into a future Linux kernel release.

As mentioned in the October Phoronix article on VFS hot-data tracking for Linux, the feature comes down to tracking commonly used data on the disk through the VFS layer and storing file statistics to create "temperatures" on data to find the most commonly used data (the "hottest" part of the disk). The warmest data can then be automatically migrated to a faster disk (e.g. a solid-state drive) or just dealt with in a more optimized manner for its common usage.

VFS hot-data tracking continues to be initially targeting the Btrfs file-system but its support could be integrated by other Linux file-systems.

A new set of 16 patches for hot-data tracking on Linux were published to the kernel mailing list this week for review. Included in that LKML posting are also new benchmark results for showing the performance differences of this kernel feature, which will now merge into Linux 3.9 at the earliest.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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