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I am load-testing a web application and studying the impact of some config tweaks (related to disk i/o) on the overall app performance, i.e. the amount of users that can be handled simultaneously.

But the problem is that I hit 100% CPU before I can see any effect of the disk-related config settings. I am therefore wondering if there is a way I could deliberately limit the disk performance so that it becomes the bottleneck and the tweaks I am trying to play with actually start impacting performance. Should I just make the hard disk busy with something else? What would serve the best for this purpose?

More details (probably irrelevant, but anyway): PHP/Magento/Apache, studying the impact of apc.stat. Setting it to 0 makes APC not checking PHP scripts for modification which should increase performance where disk is the bottleneck. Using JMeter for benchmarking.

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Virtualization. I don't know about VMWare, but Hyper-V now - 2012 R2 - allows one to set IOPS Limits for a virtual machine. Handy to put in some really low number.

0

You can try ionice -c3 yourjob .

This will limit the io to when the system is idle.

See also AskUbuntu link.

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