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Exploring storage bottlenecks in linux-based embedded systems

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JournalACM SIGBED Review
DatePublished - Jan 2016
Issue number1
Volume13
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)54-59
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

With recent advances in non-volatile memory technologies and embedded hardware, large, high-speed persistent-storage devices can now realistically be used in embedded systems. Traditional models of storage systems, including the implementation in the Linux kernel, assume the performance of storage devices to be far slower than CPU and system memory speeds, encouraging extensive caching and buffering over direct access to storage hardware. In an embedded system, however, processing and memory resources are limited while storage hardware can still operate at full speed, causing this balance to shift, and leading to the observation of performance bottlenecks caused by the operating system rather than the speed of storage devices themselves. In this paper, we present performance and profiling results from high-speed storage devices attached to a Linux-based embedded system, showing that the kernel's standard file I/O operations are inadequate for such a set-up, and that 'direct I/O' may be preferable for certain situations. Examination of the results identifies areas where potential improvements may be made in order to reduce CPU load and increase maximum storage throughput.

Bibliographical note

Special Issue on the 5th Embedded Operating Systems Workshop (EWiLi 2015)

    Research areas

  • Linux, Storage

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