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Re: [cfarm-admins] Extremely Slow Disk Access On GCC119

On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 1:06 PM, Jonathan Wakely <> wrote:
> Yes, the disks are very slow. You just have to live with it.

The commands I was having problems with are rm and tar (to decompress
an xz archive, and to delete a failed compilation environment setup).
The software project in question is Gentoo's Portage, which is known
for "stressing" filesystems due to the high file/inode count of its
resource base (automated build scripts for various software projects).
Unxz ran for the better part of a day with no end in sight. It should
take 2 minutes or less. The compilation of necessary core packages
(Gentoo's @system) took, again, over a day, with no end in sight, but
on the Linux machines was done in a few minutes.

(I am actually very thankful that there seem to be no hard limits on
CF user accounts. The space required for portage isn't gigantic but
might be larger than what some people are willing to let users drop
into their $HOME.)

It is this that makes me think the issue is not solely hardware. Bad
management of writes seems like a more likely cause especially because
while some IO limited operations seem to be slower than other disks I
have used, they are not extremely slow.

If the issue has been provably linked to the disk controller, I would
appreciate an explanation as I am interested in how that was done. I
apologize for bothering anyone but I would stress I am very willing to
listen. I am simply not very smart, sirs. If my lack of intelligence
is insulting please say so and I will leave.

> Obviously migrating gcc119 to Linux would be silly when we have other
> Linux machines. The whole point of this one is to have an AIX host for
> testing in AIX.

True, which is why I pointed it out. However the system is very hard
to use. I suppose this is useful information about AIX.

I also have an outstanding request for PowerKVM support (on GCC112)
and access to the hypervisor, but in that case I do not expect a
prompt response at all. However, I am slightly worried that it may
never be addressed (even if the answer is "no," which would be very

As for the value of what I am doing: most of the CF systems are so
outdated as to be useless for modern development work. I can use a
Gentoo Prefix/libc (
installation to use modern software on an outdated system. I'm
currently fixing a lot of ppc64(le) issues, but I did get an
environment working on GCC10.


> On Sunday, 10 September 2017, R0b0t1 <> wrote:
>> Hello list, has anyone experienced problems on the AIX POWER8 system?
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: R0b0t1 <>
>> Date: Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 9:58 AM
>> Subject: Re: [cfarm-admins] Extremely Slow Disk Access On GCC119
>> To: David Edelsohn <>
>> Do you care to explain? I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job,
>> I'm trying to make you aware of a problem.
>> I do not understand how this could only be a problem with the disk
>> controller, because I have never encountered such poor performance. If
>> it is only a problem with the disk, has the disk been failing this
>> whole time?
>> I hope you do not mind, but I will be forwarding this to the GCC
>> mailing list. I am concerned by your replies.
>> On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 3:47 AM, David Edelsohn <> wrote:
>> > You're analysis is completely wrong.
>> >
>> > David
>> >
>> > On Sep 10, 2017 10:08 AM, "R0b0t1" <> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Thank you for the response!
>> >>
>> >> I don't necessarily mean to request funding for the AIX system in this
>> >> ticket but I feel like I should point out that the system is more or
>> >> less unusable if something requires any IO. Assuming the HD is
>> >> anything modern it seems to me this is a scheduling or caching issue
>> >> in the AIX kernel.
>> >>
>> >> To reiterate, something that should take a few minutes took a day due
>> >> to slow IO. Something that should have taken a fraction of a second
>> >> was taking minutes.
>> >>
>> >> That it could possibly be the AIX kernel makes me want to ask if it
>> >> would be possible to migrate the system to Linux. However, I would
>> >> assume someone needs it for doing testing on AIX. I can also just as
>> >> well use GCC112.
>> >>
>> >> I am doing my best to not to monopolize GCC119, but it is very hard to
>> >> design around certain IO operations being very slow. I am not sure if
>> >> this is impacting any users; it doesn't seem like the AIX system
>> >> receives regular use.
>> >>
>> >> Cheers,
>> >>      R0b0t1
>> >>
>> >> On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 1:45 AM, David Edelsohn <> wrote:
>> >> > The backing disk array for the virtual I/O disks was under-designed
>> >> > for the configuration of the system.  There is a request to upgrade
>> >> > the disk controller, but unclear if that will be funded.  The I/O
>> >> > system already has been tuned with bigger buffers so the performance
>> >> > is much better than it was when originally installed.
>> >> >
>> >> > Please remember that all of the systems are shared systems and if
>> >> > there is some limitations to the system, it affects all users, so
>> >> > please try not to monopolize or overload the systems.
>> >> >
>> >> > Thanks, David
>> >> >
>> >> > On Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 8:18 AM, R0b0t1 via cfarm-admins
>> >> > <> wrote:
>> >> >> Hello,
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I apologize for creating another ticket. I am in the process of
>> >> >> running rm on a directory structure which is very quickly removed on
>> >> >> the Linux CF machines I have used the command on.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> In addition the setup of a few software packages took about a day in
>> >> >> total due to disk access when running configure scripts. On Linux,
>> >> >> this completes in a matter of minutes.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Is this a problem with AIX/jfs?
>> >> >>
>> >> >> Respectfully,
>> >> >>      R0b0t1
>> >> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> >> cfarm-admins mailing list
>> >> >>
>> >> >>

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