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Discarding data for fun and profit

Time:10:30 - 11:15
Day:Thursday 21 January 2010
Location:Main Auditorium (MFC)
Project: Linux kernel

Solid state drives perform best when the drive knows that large areas of the drive are unused. The ATA TRIM command allows the file system to tell the drive when it has deleted a file, and the space for that file can be reused. For performance reasons, it is not wise to tell the drive about every single tiny block that is free, and it is also unnecessary to tell the drive that blocks are freed if they are reused again quickly.

This talk discusses various strategies for getting the best performance from solid state drives that support the TRIM command. If time allows, I will also cover methods for userspace to indicate that it no longer needs data in parts of files. This is useful for databases such as PostgreSQL.

Matthew Wilcox

Matthew's first patch to the Linux kernel was accepted in 1998. Since then he has worked in a number of different areas of the kernel. He has been working with solid state drives since 2008 and has submitted several patches to enhance Linux performance with SSDs. He has worked for Intel since 2007.