NetBSD has a fixed, kernel-wide upper limit on transfer size, called MAXPHYS, which is currently set to 64k on most ports. This is too small to perform well on modern IDE and SCSI hardware; on the other hand some devices can't do more than 64k, and in some cases are even limited to less (the Xen virtual block device for example). Software RAID will also cause requests to be split in multiple smaller requests.

There is currently work in progress to make MAXPHYS configured at runtime based on driver capability. At least some of it is committed on the tls-maxphys branch.

This project originaly suggested instead to make the buffer queue management logic (which currently only sorts the queue, aka disksort) capable of splitting too-large buffers or aggregating small contiguous buffers in order to conform to device-level requirements.

Once the MAXPHYS changes are finalized and committed, this project may be simply outdated. However, it may also be worthwhile to pursue this idea as well, particularly the aggregation part.

Add a comment
Contact | Disclaimer | Copyright © 1994-2016 The NetBSD Foundation, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
NetBSD® is a registered trademark of The NetBSD Foundation, Inc.