Performance issues due to CPU speed on Linux

Issue

On Linux systems there may be power saving features running by default that could cause performance problems with your Aspera transfers. These features work to minimize power consumption by lowering the CPU clock rate, which means as a consequence the CPUs run slower than they are capable of running.

To verify this is the case on your system, run the following command:

grep -i hz /proc/cpuinfo

Below is an example of output indicating slower CPU speed:

model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3550 CPU @ 3.30GHz
cpu MHz         : 1600.000
model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3550 CPU @ 3.30GHz
cpu MHz         : 1600.000
model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3550 CPU @ 3.30GHz
cpu MHz         : 1600.000
model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3550 CPU @ 3.30GHz
cpu MHz         : 1600.000


In this example the CPU is capable of running at 3.3Ghz but is only running at 1.6Ghz. On desktop systems this may work fine but on server systems and systems with an Aspera transfer server it can be problematic because transfers will use a greater proportion of the CPU, leaving less available resources for other transfers and other tasks.

Environment

  • Operating System: Linux (Redhat, CentOS, Ubuntu)

 

Solution

We strongly recommend as an Aspera best practice to disable the power saving feature to ensure it does not interfere with optimal performance.

On Redhat/CentOS, you can disable the feature with the following:

# service cpuspeed stop
# chkconfig cpuspeed off

 

On Ubuntu you can disable the feature with the following:

sudo update-rc.d ondemand disable
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