Date of Original Version
Abstract or Table of Contents
Freeblock scheduling replaces a disk drive’s rotational latency delays with useful background media transfers, potentially allowing background disk I/O to occur with no impact on foreground service times. To do so, a freeblock scheduler must be able to very accurately predict the service time components of any given disk request -- the necessary accuracy was not previously considered achievable outside of disk firmware. This paper describes the design and implementation of a working external freeblock scheduler running either as a user-level application atop Linux or inside the FreeBSD kernel. This freeblock scheduler can give 15% of a disk’s potential bandwidth (over 3.1MB/s) to a background disk scanning task with almost no impact (less than 2%) on the foreground request response times. This can increase disk bandwidth utilization by over 6X.