KVM I/O slowness on RHEL 6

Written by Gionatan Danti on . Posted in Virtualization

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QCOW2 image format performance

The QCOW2 format is the default QEMU/KVM image format. It has some very interesting features, as compression and encryption, but especially it enable the use of real, file-level snapshots.

But how it performs?

QCOW2 image performance

Mmm... without metadata preallocation, it performs very badly. Enable metadata preallocation, stay away from write-through cache and it perform very well.

To better compare it to the RAW format, I made a chart with the no-caching RAW and QCOW2 results:

RAW vs QCOW2 performance

While without metadata preallocation the QCOW2 format is 5X slower then RAW, with enabled metadata preallocation the two are practically tied. This prove that while RAW format is primarily influenced by caching setting, QCOW2 is much dependent on both the preallocation and caching policies.

Comments   

 
#1 lawrence 2012-04-27 00:05
very helpful.

thanks.
 
 
#2 Josh 2012-05-10 15:37
This is a GREAT article. However... splitting it up into 8 pages makes it more annoying to use. I would understand doing this, if you had advertising on each page and wanted to derive advertising revenue. But as it stands I've copied all 8 pages into an OpenOffice document so I can turn it into a PDF and file it with the rest of my "useful blog posts".
 
 
#3 Gionatan Danti 2012-05-10 17:01
Quoting Josh:
This is a GREAT article. However... splitting it up into 8 pages makes it more annoying to use. I would understand doing this, if you had advertising on each page and wanted to derive advertising revenue. But as it stands I've copied all 8 pages into an OpenOffice document so I can turn it into a PDF and file it with the rest of my "useful blog posts".


Hi Josh, you are right: while a single page view would be desiderable, the only manner to cover domain's costs is through advertising.

Feel free to store a your personal copy of the article in whatever format you want.

Regads.
 
 
#4 Morrizor 2012-05-16 18:46
Thanks Gionatan, very useful!
 
 
#5 Arturs 2012-06-03 20:36
Hy, it very helpful!
I tried myself with default server is centos 5.8 x86_64 is installing for long long time, formating image is very long!

But when i tried cache none on full(full size already allocated) image, its running perfect
 
 
#6 Siauhoo 2012-10-06 09:58
It seem that raw images doesn't support preallocation. if so why there is raw + preallocation in this chart ?
 
 
#7 hakl 2013-12-08 14:51
And where was the big tip which you told on first page?
 
 
#8 Gionatan Danti 2013-12-16 17:56
Quoting hakl:
And where was the big tip which you told on first page?


Hi, the tip was to preallocate the QCOW2 backing file (as explained in the article) and to _not_ use the writethrough cache setting.

However, newer KVM/Qemu version (starting with those found in CentOS 6.1) greatly improved the usability of non-preallocate d QCOW2 files.

So, if you take the route to go with QCOW2 and you need thin provision, you can avoid to preallocate the backing file. However, remember to avoid the writethough cache.

Regards.
 

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