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Poor performance checking out working copy with many files (Windows SVN 1.6.2)

From: Geoff Rowell <geoff.rowell_at_varolii.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 14:40:49 -0400

I thought I'd share some difficulties that I encountered when getting a
working copy from a repository with a large number of files.

 

Background

--------------

The repository is running on a Windows 2003 unit. It's using CollabNet
Subversion Server 1.5.6 (Apache 2.2). It has a small number of revisions
(~130).

The repository contains a large number of small audio recordings. In
several cases there are over 5000 audio files in a folder.

My laptop is a Windows Vista system using CollabNet Subversion Client
1.6.2.

 

Working copy details:

- Size = 1.86 GB

- Size on disk = 3.19 GB

- # files = 480,000

- # folders = 860

 

Problem

----------

I needed to get a working copy on my laptop in order to add/update some
audio files. Since I knew this would be a performance challenge, I
suspended the TSVNCache process and attempted the checkout from the
command line. While it initially flew right along, eventually it slowed
down to the point where every file was taking about 30 seconds. I could
tell from the reported pathnames that the checkout was going to take
days (weeks?).

 

I decided to do some experiments to refine where the problem was.

 

I have an Ubuntu Linux box running Subversion 1.5.5. I used that to get
a working copy. It flew along at a steady rate and finished in 40
minutes. I archived the Linux working copy, transferred it to my laptop
and unpacked it. If the Windows file system had been a bottleneck, the
unpack would have shown a performance problem. It didn't. It unpacked it
at a steady rate in a couple of hours.

 

I wanted to determine if the problem would occur when using a Subversion
1.5 client under Windows, but I immediately ran into some problem masked
by issue #3102
<http://subversion.tigris.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=3102> . That
prevented me from investigating this further.

 

Luckily, I have the perfectly usable working copy, transferred from my
Linux box, that can be used for modifications. My typical commits of a
few files at a time don't suffer performance problems.

 

Thought I'd share this experience in hopes that something could be done
to improve the performance.

---
Geoff Rowell | SET Architect & SCC Administrator
Varolii Corporation | 781.482.2125 | FAX 781.482.2199 |
geoff.rowell_at_varolii.com <mailto:geoff.rowell_at_varolii.com> 
 
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Received on 2009-06-05 20:42:35 CEST

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