I did a search but was unable to find a good explanation of what synchronous writes are in filesystems. A disk can only write one block of data at a time so I fail to see what is synchronous and why it is slow. Is synchronous used in this case to mean serialized file operations?

Also modern hard drives have write caches so doesn't that defeat filesystem's consistency efforts?

Lastly "soft updates" I think caches file system meta data so it updates multiple records at once. Isn't this similar to a hard drives write cache and SCSI and now IDE's "native command queing" which reoders and combines read and writes?

Chris

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