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Technical Report

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Abstract or Description

This paper focuses on extending the power of caching and prefetching to reduce file read latencies by exploiting application level hints about future I/O accesses. We argue that systems that disclose high-level knowledge can transfer optimization information across module boundaries in a manner consistent with sound software engineering principles. Such Transparent Informed Prefetching (TIP) systems provide a technique for converting the high through put of new technologies such as disk arrays and log-structured file systems into low latency for applications. Our preliminary experiments show that even without a high-throughput I/O sub system TIP yields reduced execution time of up to 30% for applications obtaining data from a remote file server and up to 13% for applications obtaining data from a single local disk. These experiments indicate that greater performance benefits will be available when TIP is integrated with low level resource management policies and highly parallel I/O subsystems such as disk arrays.