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InfiniteIO: an Executive Assistant For Your File System

I used to never understand the importance of executive assistants. But as my career has matured, I realize that often time is the most valuable commodity in your workday, and anyone that can take items off your plate and give you more meaningful time back is invaluable.

File systems often have the same problem. They have lots of demand for data from applications and operating systems, and there’s only so much time to fulfill them. InfiniteIO looked at this problem and claims that 90% of all file system I/O requests are metadata queries. Meaning that if you can focus on speeding that one type of I/O, the whole system benefits.

They developed InfiniteIO Application Accelerator as a sort of executive assistant for your file system. This appliance sits on the network between NFS clients and the storage, providing a 100% mirror of on-disk metadata stored in a DRAM cache. The Application Accelerator effectively intercepts all metadata requests and only lets through data requests from applications. The returned data to the application passes through the Accelerator, so it can always keep the cache up to date.

Chris Evans gets into the applications and value of what InfiniteIO is proposing in this post. It’s an interesting solution, although I have to wonder how it can be set up to scale over time, how applicable this could possibly be for cloud workloads, and whether this couldn’t eventually be integrated directly into a storage array. Still, I really like that InfiniteIO identified where file systems were wasting their precious time, and providing the assistance they need to focus.

Read more at: Architecting IT Accelerating Application Performance with InfiniteIO

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.