LVM has a cool feature that allows you to cache slow LVs on faster media. It has some limitations like not being able to cache an entire volume group but it does work. I had an extra Intel 520 240GB SSD that I was not using so I decided to add it to one of my servers to speed up an mdadm array.
I can probably say that using Gitlab is a bit snappier through the web interface after implementing the SSD cache.
- Slow array (4 x 4TB spinning disks)
- LUKS encrypted fast SSD
I will be adding a cache to existing LVs.
Create the PV on the SSD
Extend the original volume group
vgextend vg0 /dev/mapper/ssd
Create LV caches
- 123lvcreate -L 40G -n cache0 vg0 mapper/ssdlvcreate -L 40G -n cache1 vg0 mapper/ssdlvcreate -L 40G -n cache2 vg0 mapper/ssd
Add the cache to the existing logical volumes
- 123lvconvert --type cache --cachepool vg0/cache0 vg0/lv0lvconvert --type cache --cachepool vg0/cache1 vg0/lv1lvconvert --type cache --cachepool vg0/cache2 vg0/lv2
That’s pretty much it. You can see utilization with this command:
lvs -a -o +devices. I wouldn’t recommend using
writeback caching unless your data is easily replaceable.
There is also
bcache but I believe I’d have to wipe the array and start over. It’s probably not worth doing when a simpler solution exists.