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I've confirmed that POSTs on a 2GB file takes about .25s (using the swift CLI client, so including time to authenticate). So it looks like fast-POST is enabled.

I don't update delete-at with every request (anymore). There is less than one of these per second (to the proxy server). For reference, the proxy servers see a combined 0.5 PUTs/second, 0.5 POSTs/second, 2 HEADs/second, 4 GETs/second. Which really doesn't seem that high.

Increasing the number of workers has significantly increased the disk business, and with it the number of errors swift reports.

I did discover we were running an object expirer on each of 6 servers (without configuring them to each expire their own part). I turned off 5 of them when I increased the workers, but the net result is still more disk business and errors. Just now I turned off the last object expirer, just to see if that improves things. (So far it doesn't look like it, but let's give it some time.)

All data is using the same storage, etc. I'm not really against distributing things smarter, but I'm still baffled that it would be required. This exact functionality had no problems with an 8-disk RAID10. Why does my 24-disk swift cluster have so much trouble keeping up?

I'll dig into some more of your suggestions today. I really appreciate all the help you're giving me.