[CentOS] heavy IO load when working with sparse files (centos 6.4)

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http://centos.1050465.n5.nabble.com – Dear List, We have noticed a variety of reproducible conditions working with sparse files on multiple servers under load with CentOS 6.4. The short story is that processes that read / write sparse files with large "holes" can generate an IO storm. Oddly, this only happens with holes and not with the sections of the files that contain data. We have seen extremely high IO load for example copying a 40 or 80gb sparse file that only has a few gigs of data in it. Attempts to lower the io priority and cpu priority of these processes do not make any measurable difference. (ionice, nice) (HowTos)