Thursday, September 06, 2007

Linux Kernel Summit: Scalability (and Embedded)

Nick Piggin and Matt Mackall led the discussion on scalability - both to larger AND smaller machines. Nick didn't have a lot of detail to discuss on scaling up. In general, Linux today addresses many of the key scalability issues, although there were a couple mentioned during an earlier session related to filesystem recovery speeds that still need to be addressed. Specifically, ext3 filesystems (or ext4) over 16 TB or so are taking much longer to recover, and as filesystems grow, the time to repair after a critical failure can be unreasonably long. However, Nick mostly focused on memory & processor scalability, and there was some mention of some bottleneck in block IO scalability that I didn't catch, although it sounded like it was possibly already being addressed.

Matt Mackall mentioned a few things about the embedded world and the kernel footprint which seems to be growing at a reasonable pace. Apparently the pressure to keep the cache footprint for large systems small has some synergy with the embedded needs for a small memory footprint.

Generally, though, this session didn't have a lot of material and finished early.

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