Wednesday, October 31, 2012

FreeBSD 9.0 newnfs slow throughput

We recently updated our production systems to FreeBSD 9.0. Almost immediately afterwards, we began getting reports of crumby performance on NFS mounts. After following a lot of false leads, I finally traced the issue to the new NFS code in FreeBSD, appropriately named 'newnfs'. I remounted NFS using the 'oldnfs' filesystem type, and performance immediately went back to its previous levels; a 55% increase by my most conservative testing, with users reporting orders of magnitude improvement for some jobs.

Using old NFS is a band-aid, not a solution. The FreeBSD NFS wizards desire to prune the old code for FreeBSD 10. I set to work, trying to determine the reason for the poor throughput on newnfs. I discovered that newnfs uses a default rsize and wsize value of 65535 (64k). The old NFS implementation uses a 32768 value. Remounting newnfs with the options rsize=32768,wsize=32768 results in performance very similar to that of oldnfs.

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