This is perhaps a tough one to answer but it nags me sometimes.
When you have a Linux guest on a VMware host where the disk subsystem is under heavy load and takes to long to answer the Linux guest often remounts the disk as read-only.
My ventures into the various documentation, interweb and support sites hasnt given me a better solution than to throw more hardware at the problem.
I use "tune2fs -e continue /dev/sda" to avoid having the disk remounted RO in a vmware enviroment but i suspect it will continue on other faliures than timeouts then.
Is it possible to tune the timeout for disks or is that something thats hardcoded in the drivers?