The I/O blender effect is a phenomenon in virtualized environments that degrades storage performance.
The I/O blender effect occurs when multiple virtual machines (VMs) all send their input/output (I/O) streams to a hypervisor for processing. Under heavy work loads, I/O processes which might otherwise have been relatively sequential, become random. This increases the read/write activity on disk heads, which in turn, increases latency. This randomization can occur with all virtualization platforms.
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Common methods used to reduce the I/O blender effect include overprovisioning and adding solid-state drives for caching.