Linux 5.17 To Continue With I/O Optimizations, 5~6% Improvement Pending For NVMe

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Storage on 17 November 2021 at 03:23 PM EST. 20 Comments
The recently-ended Linux 5.16 merge window saw significant I/O improvements driven primarily by maintainer Jens Axboe's recent focus on relentlessly optimizing the block and IO_uring code for record-setting per-core IOPS. As good as those improvements are, Linux 5.17 should be even better.

Linux 5.16 saw much of Axboe's work merged around the I/O optimizations in his quest for maximizing the per-core IOPS out of his new Ryzen 9 5950X system with dual Intel Optane NVMe solid-state drives. But there is still more work pending that in turn should be ready for Linux 5.17.

Just days after the 5.16 merge window's closure, Axboe today sent out 4 more patches for NVMe code to make use of a new hook in Linux 5.16 around allocating and completing batches of I/O. In turn for NVMe drives it means allowing copying of multiple commands in one go. In Axboe's tests this yielded a ~500K IOPS/core improvement or around a 5~6% efficiency upgrade.

The I/O optimization work continues to be collected in the perf-wip branch. So far today there are 38 patches added to that repository as post-5.16 material. Axboe has also mentioned he is in the process of assembling an Intel Core i9 12900K system for seeing how the per-core IOPS compare to the Ryzen 9 5950X and ultimately exploring more storage performance optimizations on that Alder Lake front.

This ongoing work along with other kernel optimizations always has us excited for the next kernel cycle.
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