Empirical Evaluation and Enhancement of Enterprise Storage System Request Scheduling

Deng Zhou, San Diego State University; Vania Fang, NetApp; Tao Xie, Wen Pan, San Diego State University; Ram Kesavan, Tony Lin, and Naresh Patel, NetApp

ACM Transactions on Storage (TOS) Volume 14 Issue 2, May 201 Article No. 14

Since little has been reported in the literature concerning enterprise storage system file-level request scheduling, we do not have enough knowledge about how various scheduling factors affect performance. Moreover, we are in lack of a good understanding on how to enhance request scheduling to adapt to the changing characteristics of workloads and hardware resources. To answer these questions, we first build a request scheduler prototype based on WAFL®, a mainstream file system running on numerous enterprise storage systems worldwide. Next, we use the prototype to quantitatively measure the impact of various scheduling configurations on performance on a NetApp®’s enterprise-class storage system. Several observations have been made. For example, we discover that in order to improve performance, the priority of write requests and non-preempted restarted requests should be boosted in some workloads. Inspired by these observations, we further propose two scheduling enhancement heuristics called SORD (size-oriented request dispatching) and QATS (queue-depth aware time slicing). Finally, we evaluate them by conducting a wide range of experiments using workloads generated by SPC-1 and SFS2014 on both HDD-based and all-flash platforms. Experimental results show that the combination of the two can noticeably reduce average request latency under some workloads.

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