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Improving disk I/O reads (Linux)
Our SAN is optimized for random IO as that is more typical in a hosting environment. Enabling readahead under Linux will greatly increase sequential reads.
blockdev --setra 16384 /dev/xvda1
Replace /dev/xvda1 with /dev/sda1 on older distributions. You can add this command to /etc/rc.local to make it persistent across reboots.