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As a System administrator, you should be able to optimize the performance of a Linux system to suit your use case workloads by adjusting various settings. This guide has been written to help you optimize your Linux server performance with tuned.

The tuned daemon can be used to apply system tuning adjustments either dynamically, or statically. There are pre-defined tuning profiles that reflect particular workload requirements.

Available profiles you can tune to are:

Tuned Profile Purpose
balancedIdeal for systems that require a compromise between power saving and performance.
desktopDerived from the balanced profile. Provides faster response of interactive applications.
throughput-performanceTunes the system for maximum throughput.
latency-performanceIdeal for server systems that require low latency at the expense of power consumption.
network-latencyDerived from the latency-performance profile. It enables additional network tuning parameters to provide low network latency.
network-throughputDerived from the throughput-performance profile. Additional network tuning parameters are applied for maximum network throughput.
powersaveTunes the system for maximum power saving.
oracleOptimized for Oracle database loads based on the throughput-performance profile.
virtual-guestOptimize for running inside a virtual guest
virtual-hostTunes the system for maximum performance if used for running KVM guests

So let’s look at the two modes of system tuning.

Static Tuning

In this tuning method, the tuned daemon applies system settings when the service starts or upon selection of a new tuning profile. It configures predefined kernel parameters in profiles that tuned applies at runtime. The kernel parameters are set for overall performance expectations, and are not adjusted as activity levels change.

Dynamic Tuning

With dynamic tuning, the tuned daemon monitors system activity and adjusts settings depending on runtime behavior changes. Dynamic tuning is continuously adjusting tuning to fit the current workload, starting with the initial settings declared in the chosen tuning profile.

Installing Tuned

In RHEL/CentOS 8/7 Linux system, the tuned package is installed and enabled by default. If you want install and enable the package manually on CentOS / RHEL machine, run the commands:

sudo yum install tuned
sudo systemctl enable --now tuned

Ubuntu / Debian:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install tuned tuned-utils tuned-utils-systemtap

Confirm services status after starting it.

$ systemctl status tuned
● tuned.service - Dynamic System Tuning Daemon
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/tuned.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2020-02-04 04:10:52 UTC; 6 days ago
     Docs: man:tuned(8)
           man:tuned.conf(5)
           man:tuned-adm(8)
 Main PID: 936 (tuned)
   CGroup: /system.slice/tuned.service
           └─936 /usr/bin/python2 -Es /usr/sbin/tuned -l -P

.....

Selecting a Tuning Profile

The Tuned profiles are divided into the following categories:

  • Performance-boosting profiles
  • Power-saving profiles

The performance-boosting profiles include profiles that focus on the following aspects:

  • Low latency for storage and network
  • High throughput for storage and network
  • Virtualization host performance
  • Virtual machine performance

We’ll use the tuned-adm command to change settings of the tuned daemon.

Check currently active tuning profile:

$ tuned-adm active
Current active profile: virtual-guest

The tuned-adm list command is used to list all available tuning profiles:

Available profiles:
- balanced                    - General non-specialized tuned profile
- desktop                     - Optimize for the desktop use-case
- latency-performance         - Optimize for deterministic performance at the cost of increased power consumption
- network-latency             - Optimize for deterministic performance at the cost of increased power consumption, focused on low latency network performance
- network-throughput          - Optimize for streaming network throughput, generally only necessary on older CPUs or 40G+ networks
- powersave                   - Optimize for low power consumption
- throughput-performance      - Broadly applicable tuning that provides excellent performance across a variety of common server workloads
- virtual-guest               - Optimize for running inside a virtual guest
- virtual-host                - Optimize for running KVM guests
Current active profile: virtual-guest

On an Ubuntu, more profiles are available:

$ tuned-adm list
Available profiles:
- atomic-guest                - Optimize virtual guests based on the Atomic variant
- atomic-host                 - Optimize bare metal systems running the Atomic variant
- balanced                    - General non-specialized tuned profile
- cpu-partitioning            - Optimize for CPU partitioning
- default                     - Legacy default tuned profile
- desktop                     - Optimize for the desktop use-case
- desktop-powersave           - Optmize for the desktop use-case with power saving
- enterprise-storage          - Legacy profile for RHEL6, for RHEL7, please use throughput-performance profile
- laptop-ac-powersave         - Optimize for laptop with power savings
- laptop-battery-powersave    - Optimize laptop profile with more aggressive power saving
- latency-performance         - Optimize for deterministic performance at the cost of increased power consumption
- network-latency             - Optimize for deterministic performance at the cost of increased power consumption, focused on low latency network performance
- network-throughput          - Optimize for streaming network throughput, generally only necessary on older CPUs or 40G+ networks
- oracle                      - Optimize for Oracle RDBMS
- powersave                   - Optimize for low power consumption
- realtime                    - Optimize for realtime workloads
- realtime-virtual-guest      - Optimize for realtime workloads running within a KVM guest
- realtime-virtual-host       - Optimize for KVM guests running realtime workloads
- sap-hana                    - Optimize for SAP HANA
- sap-hana-vmware             - Optimize for SAP HANA running inside a VMware guest
- sap-netweaver               - Optimize for SAP NetWeaver
- server-powersave            - Optimize for server power savings
- spindown-disk               - Optimize for power saving by spinning-down rotational disks
- throughput-performance      - Broadly applicable tuning that provides excellent performance across a variety of common server workloads
- virtual-guest               - Optimize for running inside a virtual guest
- virtual-host                - Optimize for running KVM guests

The tuned-adm profile <profile> command is used to switch the active profile to a different one. This example will tune our system for maximum throughput.

sudo tuned-adm profile throughput-performance

Confirm current profile.

$ sudo tuned-adm active
Current active profile: throughput-performance

Check recommended tuning profile for the system

The tuned-adm command can also recommend a tuning profile for the system. This is based on various system characteristics, including whether the system is a virtual machine and other predefined categories selected during system installation.

$ tuned-adm recommend
virtual-guest

You can then set your profile to recommended value.

sudo tuned-adm profile virtual-guest

To see profile details, run:

$ tuned-adm profile_info virtual-guest
Profile name:
virtual-guest

Profile summary:
Optimize for running inside a virtual guest

Profile description:

Switching off profile

To revert the setting changes made by the current profile, either switch to another profile or deactivate the tuned daemon.

Use the tuned-adm off command to turn off tuned tuning activity:

$ tuned-adm off

Confirm with the command:

$ tuned-adm active

You can also manage Tuning profiles with Cockpit Web Console.

More guides:

Run CentOS 8 VM using Vagrant on KVM / VirtualBox / VMWare / Parallels

Preserve Systemd Journals Logging with Persistent Storage

Enable Hyper-V and Install Vagrant on Windows 10

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