Cyberspace is buzzin’ tonight over the release of the Reiser4 filesystem, which seems to be pretty hot stuff. I was looking at their benchmarks page and was charmed to see an appearance by Bonnie++, a direct descendent of the original Bonnie mentioned here just the other day. The benchmarks suggest that on a good computer with a modern filesystem, you can expect to get 130 or so random seeks/second in 1G of data, 105 in 3G. That’s not bad... in fact it’s three or four times faster than the best results I was able to get in 1990 (search for “asymptotically”). Check out the computers I ran that on, they’re museum pieces. Per Moore’s law, in fourteen years the CPUs ought to have sped up by a factor of 214/1.5=645 or so. Yep, one of them was a 4MHz 386, 4MHz×645=2.58GHz, damn that Moore is smart. I happen to remember that of the original computers I benchmarked, the biggest had 64M of memory. If you applied the same multiplier (645) to the memory, you’d get 4.1G, quite a reasonable figure for a big modern Unix box. I think the lesson is obvious: for high-performance applications, keep your data away from those filthy disks, no matter what filesystem, use memory.