Linux 3.13 To Receive Multi-Queue Block Layer
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 5 November 2013 at 01:30 PM EST. 18 Comments
While the Linux 3.13 merge window isn't opening until next week, the maintainer of the block layer to the Linux kernel isn't accepting anymore changes for this next kernel release. The merge pull for the block layer in Linux 3.13 is already quite large, in part due to merging the multi-queue block layer (blk-mq) support for faster disk performance. The multi-queue block layer will allow Linux to perform significantly better for disk IOPS while reducing latency with multi-queue SSD access on multi-core systems.

The multi-queue block layer that will be merged into the Linux 3.13 kernel tries to balance I/O workload across multiple CPU cores, reduce cache-line sharing, provide similar functionality to SQ, and allow for multiple hardware queues. Testing of the multi-queue block layer shows for a significant increase in disk IOPS as the number of CPU cores increase, compared to virtually no difference with the single-queue block layer.

The multi-queue block layer can yield improvements in the range of 3.5 to 10 times greater IOPS, 10 to 38x reduction in latency, supports multiple hardware queues, and actually yields simpler driver development.

Confirmation of blk-mq support for the Linux 3.13 kernel comes via the block window closed message. More details on the multi-queue block layer can be found via these PDF slides and this white paper.
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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 Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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