Although CPU and memory performance are important factors in system performance, optimal disk performance is crucial to system throughput. The vast majority of user interactions with a system involve some kind of disk input or output. Furthermore, this disk I/O can happen through a page fault, its timing and duration being beyond the control of either the user or the programmer. With a properly functioning I/O subsystem, total system throughput can be an order of magnitude better than when the I/O subsystem is functioning poorly. Because the performance stakes are so high, disk systems must be well designed and well configured from the outset. Throughout the life of the system, disk subsystems must be continually monitored ...

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