September 7, 2011

Self-Optimizing Hard Drives: Advice?

Hello, I am a computer engineering student studying Linux kernel development. My 4-man team was tasked to propose a kernel development project (to be implemented in 6 weeks), and we came up with a tentative "Self-Optimizing Hard Disk Drive Linux Kernel Module". I'm not sure if that title makes sense to the pros.

We based the proposal on this project:

The goal of the project is to minimize hard disk access times. The plan is to create a special partition where the "most commonly used" files are to be placed. An LKM will profile, analyze, plan, and redirect I/O operations to the hard disk. This LKM should primarily be able to predict and redirect all file access (on files with sizes of < 10 MB) with minimal overhead, and lessen average read/write access times to the hard disk. I believe Apple's HFS has this feature.

Can anybody suggest a starting point? I recently found a way to redirect I/O operations by intercepting system calls (by hijacking all the read/write ones). However, I'm not convinced that this is the best way to go. Is there a way to write a driver that redirects these read/write operations? Can we perhaps tap into the read/write cache to achieve the same effect?

Any feedback at all is appreciated.

Sample system call hijack code:

Click Here!