Alleviating file system journaling problem in containers for DBMS consolidation

Asraa Abdulrazak Ali Mardan, Kenji Kono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Containers offer a lightweight alternative over virtual machines and become a preferable choice for application consolidation in the clouds. However, the sharing of kernel components can violate the I/O performance and isolation in containers. It is widely recognized that file system journaling has terrible performance side effects in containers, especially when consolidating database management systems (DBMSs). The sharing of journaling modules among containers causes performance dependency among them. This dependency violates resource consumption enforced by the resource controller, and degrades I/O performance due to the contention of the journaling module. The operating system developers have been working on novel designs of file systems or new journaling mechanisms to solve the journaling problems. This paper shows that it is possible to overcome journaling problems without re-designing file systems or implementing a new journaling method. A careful configuration of containers in existing file systems can gracefully solve the problems. Our recommended configuration consists of 1) per-container journaling by presenting each container with a virtual block device to have its own journaling module, and 2) accounting journaling I/Os separately for each container. Our experimental results show that our configuration resolves journalingrelated problems, improves MySQL performance by 3.4x, and achieves reasonable performance isolation among containers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-940
Number of pages10
JournalIEICE Transactions on Information and Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Container
  • DBMS
  • Journaling file system
  • Virtualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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