I/O blender effect

Contributor(s): Sarah Wilson

The I/O blender effect is a phenomenon in virtualized environments that degrades storage performance.  

The I/O blender effect occurs when multiple virtual machines (VMs) all send their input/output (I/O) streams to a hypervisor for processing. Under heavy work loads, I/O processes which might otherwise have been relatively sequential, become random.  This increases the read/write activity on disk heads, which in turn, increases latency. This randomization can occur with all virtualization platforms. 

Common methods used to reduce the I/O blender effect include overprovisioning and adding solid-state drives for caching.  

This was last updated in March 2013

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