3ware claim that their 'software' implemented command queueing
performs at 95% effectiveness compared to the hardware queueing on a
SCSI drive, so I would say that they agree with you.

I'm still learning, but as I read it, the bits are split across the
platters and there is only 'one' head, but happens to be reading from
multiple platters.  The 'further' in linear distance the data is from
the current position, the longer it's going to take to get there. 
This seems to be true based on a document that was circulated.  A hard
drive takes considerable amount of time to 'find' a track on the
platter compared to the rotational speed, which would agree with the
fact that you can read 70MB/sec, but it takes up to 13ms to seek.

the ATA protocol is just how the HBA communicates with the drive,
there is no reason why the HBA can't reschedule reads and writes just
the like SCSI drive would do natively, and this is what infact 3ware
claims.  I get the feeling based on my own historical experience that
generaly drives don't just have a bunch of bad blocks.  This all leads
me to believe that you can predict with pretty good accuracy how
expensive it is to retrieve a given block knowing it's linear

Alex Turner

On 4/14/05, Kevin Brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Tom Lane wrote:
> > Kevin Brown <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > > I really don't see how this is any different between a system that has
> > > tagged queueing to the disks and one that doesn't.  The only
> > > difference is where the queueing happens.  In the case of SCSI, the
> > > queueing happens on the disks (or at least on the controller).  In the
> > > case of SATA, the queueing happens in the kernel.
> >
> > That's basically what it comes down to: SCSI lets the disk drive itself
> > do the low-level I/O scheduling whereas the ATA spec prevents the drive
> > from doing so (unless it cheats, ie, caches writes).  Also, in SCSI it's
> > possible for the drive to rearrange reads as well as writes --- which
> > AFAICS is just not possible in ATA.  (Maybe in the newest spec...)
> >
> > The reason this is so much more of a win than it was when ATA was
> > designed is that in modern drives the kernel has very little clue about
> > the physical geometry of the disk.  Variable-size tracks, bad-block
> > sparing, and stuff like that make for a very hard-to-predict mapping
> > from linear sector addresses to actual disk locations.
> Yeah, but it's not clear to me, at least, that this is a first-order
> consideration.  A second-order consideration, sure, I'll grant that.
> What I mean is that when it comes to scheduling disk activity,
> knowledge of the specific physical geometry of the disk isn't really
> important.  What's important is whether or not the disk conforms to a
> certain set of expectations.  Namely, that the general organization is
> such that addressing the blocks in block number order guarantees
> maximum throughput.
> Now, bad block remapping destroys that guarantee, but unless you've
> got a LOT of bad blocks, it shouldn't destroy your performance, right?
> > Combine that with the fact that the drive controller can be much
> > smarter than it was twenty years ago, and you can see that the case
> > for doing I/O scheduling in the kernel and not in the drive is
> > pretty weak.
> Well, I certainly grant that allowing the controller to do the I/O
> scheduling is faster than having the kernel do it, as long as it can
> handle insertion of new requests into the list while it's in the
> middle of executing a request.  The most obvious case is when the head
> is in motion and the new request can be satisfied by reading from the
> media between where the head is at the time of the new request and
> where the head is being moved to.
> My argument is that a sufficiently smart kernel scheduler *should*
> yield performance results that are reasonably close to what you can
> get with that feature.  Perhaps not quite as good, but reasonably
> close.  It shouldn't be an orders-of-magnitude type difference.
> --
> Kevin Brown                                           [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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