Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does anybody know of a some sort of (virtual) filesystem that will run as a low priority i.e. All other regular disk activity will take priority?

The reason for this is an application I am developing has a large amount of background disk IO to perform. The IO is not time critical but it currently writes at the maximum possible speed causing high iowait times and slowing down the entire system.

I've thought of spawning a new process and using ionice to set a priority but this seems a bit messy and I'd rather my application was not aware of hardware limitations.

Has anybody come across a fs that will do this or has another suggestion to solve the problem?

Any input much appreciated

share|improve this question
I don't think this is necessarily a filesystem's responsibility. What are the details of the application (language, framework, etc.)? – ewwhite Oct 22 '13 at 12:56
Why not just move that filesystem to its own disk so it's not competing for IO with the rest of the system? – EEAA Oct 22 '13 at 13:01
The application is Java running in Tomcat. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an "application" way of setting an io priority since it's the kernels job (apart from spawning new process and running ionice). A new disk/controller would be a valid but expensive solution. – mnik Oct 22 '13 at 13:31

If possible, you can write application run as low priority or set their limit to utilize the CPU utilization under /etc/security/limits.conf

share|improve this answer
Since the IO heavy part of the application is a Java thread I'd have to write an external program to achieve this. Easier to just spawn 'cp' and 'ionice' though – mnik Oct 22 '13 at 13:35

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.