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Re: mlock() issues

On Fri, 22 Oct 2010 15:53:04 -0400
Matthew Mondor <> wrote:

> Anyway, I like this kind of discussion and have nothing against NIH
> personally (it fuels variety and competition, in fact), so thanks for
> sharing your custom cache experiments and performance numbers.  If you
> happen to do achieve interesting performance along the above
> lines with mmap(2) as well, I'd also like to know how it went.
> Thanks,
> -- 
> Matt

Hi, the application cache I've developed is using anonymous memory
mappings. It defines an abstract data type mpb_t, this is multi-page
buffer. The cache uses 20 different buffer pages (page sizes increase
in powers of 2, from 512B to 256M), in order to provide memory segments
for multi-page buffer.

For example mpb_t object of size 1.2K would be allocated 1K and 512B
buffer pages. An mpb_t object of size 1.8K would be allocated a single
2K buffer page.

I ran some benchmarks to compare NetBSD kernel file cache and the
application cache I've developed. This was run on dual Pentium 3
1.13GHz, with 2G of RAM.

Kernel file cache test:
uint64_t time1, time2;
void *buffer = malloc(8M);

time1 = get current time;
for each file under /usr/src
        open file;
        read file into buffer;
        close file
time2 = get current time;
print time2 - time1;

Application cache test:
uint64_t time1, time2;

for each file under /usr/src
        load file into application cache;

time1 = get current time;
for each file in application cache
        fd = open("dev/null", ...);
        write(fd, cache_buffer, ...);
time2 = get current time;
print time2 - time1;

In order to be fair, I kept the number of open/close system calls in
each test loop the same. Kernel file cache test was run about 4 times,
to make sure all files under /usr/src were loaded into cache, and then
the lowest time difference was taken.

The results are:

Kernel file cache time difference - 15253 msec.
Application cache time difference - 2784 msec.

Copying data from application cache was about 5.5 times faster. On
Solaris (default installation, i.e. no tuning) the time difference
for kernel file cache test was so huge, I didn't even bother writing the

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