Application launch performance is of great importance to system platform developers and vendors as it greatly a®ects the degree of users' satisfaction. The single most e®ective way to improve application launch performance is to replace a hard disk drive (HDD) with a solid state drive (SSD), which has recently become a®ordable and popular. A natural question is then whether or not to replace the traditional HDD-aware application launchers with a new SSD-aware optimizer. We address this question by analyzing the ine±ciency of the HDD-aware application launchers on SSDs and then proposing a new SSD-aware application prefetching scheme, called the Fast Application STarter (FAST). The key idea of FAST is to overlap the computation (CPU) time with the SSD access (I/O) time during an application launch. FAST is composed of a set of user-level components and system debugging tools provided by Linux OS (operating system). Hence, FAST can be easily deployed in any recent Linux versions without kernel recompilation. We implement FAST on a desktop PC with an SSD running Linux 2.6.32 OS and evaluate it by launching a set of widely-used applications, demonstrating an average of 28% reduction of application launch time as compared to PC without a prefetcher.
- Application launch performance
- I/O prefetch
- Solid state drive