today I’ve written a small benchmark utility to try to emulate NNTP server performance. A one-file-per-article spool has somewhat unusual performance characteristics, totally dominated by stat-ing and stuff.
So my little utility is a C program that recursively reads a real news spool, and then just discards the result. It’s extremely single-threaded, which isn’t typical of NNTP usage patterns, but otherwise it should be kinda ok. It’s on GitHub.
To test, I copied over a 26GB portion of the read Gmane news spool (3.3M files) over to three different partitions: One btrfs on the MegaRAID, one ext4 on the MegaRAID, and one ext4/btrfs on the spinning system disk, just to get a baseline.
(And always do echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches before testing anything.)
btrfs wastes a lot of room, though. What takes 32GB on ext4 takes 42GB on btrfs. But with max_inline=0 that shinks to 36GB. Still kinda sucky.
Anyway, the results are, when reading files in readdir() order:
btrfs on ssd: 10600 files per second, 84MB/s
ext4 on ssd: 4460 files per second, 35MB/s
btrfs on spinning disk: 5030 files per second, 40MB/s
ext4 on spinning disk: 238 files per second (yes, I know. With noatime. Yes. Yes. Try it yourself.)
And when sorting the files in alphabetical order:
btrfs on ssd: 7800 files per second, 62MB/s
ext2 on ssd: 19200 files per second, 152MB/s
ext4 on ssd: 19100 files per second, 152MB/s
ext4 on spinning disk: 6100 files per second, 48MB/s
So two things stand out here:
1) ext4 is really sensitive to the order you read files
3) the LSI MegaRAID SAS 9265-8I is quite slow on small files
I mean, when reading large files, I get 1.2GB/s! This is bullshit! Where are my IOPSes! I want more IOPS!
Perhaps I should set the stripe size on the RAID to something smaller than the default, which is 128KB. I mean, the mean file size in the spool is 8K, which means that it’s probably reading a lot more than it has to.
It has to!