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Chapter 6. Input/Output

6.1. Features

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 introduces a number of performance enhancements in the I/O stack:
  • Solid state disks (SSDs) are now recognized automatically, and the performance of the I/O scheduler is tuned to take advantage of the high I/Os per second (IOPS) that these devices can perform. For information on tuning SSDs, see the Solid State Disk Deployment Guidelines chapter in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Storage Administration Guide.
  • Discard support has been added to the kernel to report unused block ranges to the underlying storage. This helps SSDs with their wear-leveling algorithms. It also helps storage that supports logical block provisioning (a sort of virtual address space for storage) by keeping closer tabs on the actual amount of storage in-use.
  • The file system barrier implementation was overhauled in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 to make it more performant.
  • pdflush has been replaced by per-backing-device flusher threads, which greatly improves system scalability on configurations with large LUN counts.