Samba speed

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at
Tue Dec 9 03:35:36 GMT 2008

On Mon, 8 Dec 2008, Jeremy Allison wrote:

> Here's a really interesting paper from Intel
> that they recently brought to my attention.

This _is_ an interesting paper, but I disagree with the following 

"If the server OS uses a filesystem like NTFS, these pre-allocate writes 
are used to allocate contiguous blocks on the disk. NTFS assumes that all 
files will be filled with data, so the small write to a high offset forces 
the filesystem to allocate a set of contiguous blocks up to that offset. 
When the valid data is written to NTFS, the blocks are already allocated, 
simplifying and speeding the data writes."

I have seen this behavior before, and it is most likely because the client 
has an exclusive OpLock on the file and the writes are going into the 
client cache, however, to present any sort of reasonable semantics with 
respect to ENOSPACE they have to attempt to extend the file to the end of 
each write.

It just so happens that this is good for other reasons on Windows as well.

Interestingly, I have been seeing other problems with large non-sparse 
files in a VTL implementation (many GB sequential files) and Ext3, so this 
might be what I need to switch to XFS.

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe[at], rsharpe[at],

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