Rendering is the process of generating high-resolution images by software, which is widely used in animation, video games and visual effects in movies. Although rendering is a computation-intensive job, we observe that storage accesses may become another performance bottleneck in desktop-rendering systems. In this article, we present a new buffer cache management scheme specialized for rendering systems. Unlike general-purpose computing systems, rendering systems exhibit specific file access patterns, and we show that this results in significant performance degradation in the buffer cache system. To cope with this situation, we collect various file input/output (I/O) traces of rendering workloads and analyze their access patterns. The results of this analysis show that file I/Os in rendering processes consist of long loops for configuration, short loops for texture input, random reads for input, and single-writes for output. Based on this observation, we propose a new buffer cache management scheme for improving the storage performance of rendering systems. Experimental results show that the proposed scheme improves the storage I/O performance by an average of 19% and a maximum of 55% compared to the conventional buffer cache system.
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