Skip to main content
NetApp Knowledge Base

Traversing a large sparse directory is extremely slow with long running READDIR requests

Last Updated:

Applies to

  • ONTAP 9
  • NFS
  • SMB


  • It takes a long time to traverse a large directory with the following possible symptoms:
    • Many long running READDIR/READDIR+ requests could be identified from a packet trace, it could take up to tens of seconds, or even hundreds of seconds in the worst case scenario 
      • Note:  The same applies to SMB2 QUERY_DIRECTORY requests or its equivalents in other SMB versions
    • Timeout on the NFS/SMB clients
    • Horrible latency reported from various Performance Monitoring tools
  • A number of different error messages would pop up from EMS logs:
    • [<node_name>: wafl_exemptxx: wafl.readdir.expired:error]: A READDIR file operation has expired for the directory associated with volume <volume_name>/@vserver:<vserver_uuid> Snapshot copy ID xx and inode <inode_number>.
    • [<node_name>: wafl_exemptxx: wafl.readdir.sparse:notice]: A READDIR file operation has detected that a directory associated with volume <volume_name>/@vserver:<vserver_uuid> Snapshot ID xx and inode <inode_name> is sparse.

Sign in to view the entire content of this KB article.

New to NetApp?

Learn more about our award-winning Support

NetApp provides no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or reliability or serviceability of any information or recommendations provided in this publication or with respect to any results that may be obtained by the use of the information or observance of any recommendations provided herein. The information in this document is distributed AS IS and the use of this information or the implementation of any recommendations or techniques herein is a customer's responsibility and depends on the customer's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the customer's operational environment. This document and the information contained herein may be used solely in connection with the NetApp products discussed in this document.
Scan to view the article on your device